Beware of fraud on social networks

by Kate Norton
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Popular social networks have millions and even billions of users which is making them very attractive not only to people who would like to keep in touch with their acquaintances or promote their business but also to various scammers. Certainly, there are many different ways in which people can benefit from others using social services, however, some of them are particularly popular.

It does not matter whether you are an active users of such networks or just use them occasionally as in both cases you can get in an unpleasant situation. In the majority of cases the goal of scammers is to make you pay them money while in some situations they are willing to steal personal information.

This article will provide you with useful information about the most widespread forms of fraud on social networks.

Charity on social networks

Undeniably, social networks can be used for charity in a very effective way since there are so many users around the world. Yet, just like it is in the real life, scammers can also benefit from people who are willing to help others in difficult situations.

There is a great variety of options used by scammers in order to appear trustworthy and make other people pay money whereas the goal of all of them is the same which is receiving your money instead of directing it to those who need it.

If you have come across people who are collecting money for some charitable purposes and you are willing to help, you should study the situation in details no matter whether it is an entire organisation or just a single person. The information which should be checked in the case of charity includes the exact amount of money needed by the person whom you would like to help, personal data of the person or organisation collecting money as well as financial reports on receiving and spending money.

Usually real organisations will give you such information and tell you more on their work whereas scammers will just create emotional noise or even start accusing you.

Hacked accounts

If you have been using your accounts on social networks for quite a long time and you have a large number of friends or followers there, you have certainly come across a situation when one of them asked you to help. The needs for your help can be absolutely different including quite plausible scenarios as well as absolutely apparent fake stories. In any case, scammers usually want your money as a form of help rather than anything else. Of course, in the majority of situations scammers are just breaking into accounts of other users and are using them in their fraudulent plans.

Even if the person asking you for help is someone really close to you, you should first try to contact him or her via the phone. It might even happen that you will get a message from this person about inability of using one’s own number, albeit it is not necessarily the case. Anyway, no matter whatever information you get from somebody you know, if this person wants you to help him or her financially, you should contact this person directly to confirm the text was really sent by this person rather than by any scammer.

Beware of the possibility of your own account getting hacked and used for such fraudulent activity. In order to keep your account safe, create a strong password consisting of at least nine symbols of mixed cases, numbers and special symbols. Do not share it with anyone and do not save your password whenever you are signing into your account through devices which do not belong to you. Of course, you should not share your password with anyone as well.

Receiving unexpected prizes or inheriting money

One of the most popular ways of making Internet users pay their money is to inform them about something pleasant and unexpected such as winning a prize or inheriting money.

If you have not participated in any competitions, contests or marketing campaigns recently, any message about a win should seem strange to you. You cannot win anything if you do not participate in any event promising you rewards no matter how alluring such messages seem to you.

It can be more confusing to you providing you participate in event of such a type on a regular basis. For some people it might be even a way of spending their free time. If you are taking part in a larger amount of contests at the same time, it might be difficult for you to remember all of them. In the most extreme cases you scammers might even write to you about a win in the event in which you have really participated.

Fortunately, there is a possibility of checking such information anyway. It is enough to ask the person who sent you the information about your winning about any proof of your win.

When it comes to the messages about inheriting wealth, usually they seem suspicious right from the start although they might make people excited. The plan of scammers in this case is to make you pay for receiving money or for the services of a lawyer.

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