Social media scams are unfortunately common. And Facebook scams are among the most problematic due to the sheer number of people using the platform. However, Facebook users can protect themselves by learning how to spot scams and avoid potentially problematic interactions. Here’s a guide to some common issues in 2022.
Common Facebook scams are doing the rounds today
Online scammers try to target Facebook users in a variety of ways. Some get in touch via Facebook Messenger. Others create persuasive messages that go to multiple users. Here are several to watch out for.
1. Fake giveaways
Real giveaways are popular on Facebook, making this an especially common scam. Scammers often use malicious software to collect personal information that people submit. Warning signs that a giveaway is a scam include requesting a credit card number or offering an unrealistic prize.
2. Phishing Scam on Facebook Messenger
Just as you can fall for a phishing scam via email, it is possible to do the same in direct messages on Facebook Messenger. Often, the suspicious activity involves redirecting users to a new page similar to the Facebook login page. But this fake page just collects the person’s credentials instead.
3. Romance Scams
Romance scams are a bit more involved. This Facebook scam usually starts with a friend request from an unknown person. They may spend time messaging back and forth to build a relationship before asking for money for a specific cause.
4. Fake job offers
Some scammers create fake brands and post jobs on Facebook to collect personal information such as your social security number and address. Verifying the company and person can help mitigate the risk.
5. Fake apps
Scammers often post scam ads on Facebook promising great deals or coupons for downloading an app. However, these deals don’t really exist and the links often contain malware, so be careful before clicking on anything that seems too good to be true.
6. Identity Theft
Identity theft on Facebook can include any scheme where personal information is collected. Or some scammers copy Facebook accounts to connect with your friends in an attempt to get their information as well.
7. Fraudulent Surveys
Market research firms often offer money to those who want to take surveys. However, scammers also make this promise, but may ask for additional information such as bank account numbers.
8. Facebook Privacy Scam
Facebook privacy scams often involve accounts that offer to protect your profile or claim that you can simply post a status to secure your privacy rights on the platform.
9. Fake charities
Fake charities can create an entire Facebook page to make their organization look legit. But then they raise money through online fundraisers and don’t give any of it to charity.
8. Games & Quizzes
Games and quizzes can provide some fun. But they can also collect data that is used to steal your identity. Beware of anyone asking you to enter information that can be used in security answers or passwords.
10. Fake Facebook Profile Scam
Scammers often clone Facebook accounts to gain the trust of someone’s network. Be careful when you get friend requests from those you’ve already interacted with.
11. Fake Facebook friend request
Friend requests can also come from friends of friends. But scammers may have simply cheated your other connections as well.
12. Malware scam
Malware scams include malicious software that is downloaded to devices through suspicious links. These links can come from scammers or even real friends who have been hacked or fallen for fake news scams.
13. Spyware scam
Spyware is a specific type of malware that downloads a program that tracks your activity. Scammers can then use it to steal logins or access your banking information.
14. Shopping scam
Shopping scams usually involve selling products on Facebook Marketplace or linking users to other sites. However, the store is not real and products are never shipped.
15. Fake login page
Fake login pages occur when scammers share links that direct other users to a page similar to Facebook’s homepage. But when you enter your credentials, they can access your account.
16. Fake accounts
A cloned account can be used to steal money, social security number or other personal information.
17. Instant Loans
Instant loans or a financial offer that seems too good to be true may try to steal your information or make you download malware.
18. Cryptocurrency Schemes
Cryptocurrency schemes also often include suspicious logins or require personal information that can be used against you.
19. Lottery scam
Lottery scams generally require payment information or ask you to click on external links that may be compromised accounts.
20. Secret Santa Scammers
Secret Santa exchanges are often fun in person. But online, you may just be buying gifts or lending money to scammers.
What are the signs that someone is scamming you?
Scams can come in many different forms. Usually, however, it involves someone sharing a link or financial offer that seems out of place or seems too good to be true. You can also spot scams by noticing duplicate Facebook accounts or requests from people you don’t know.
How Facebook users can avoid falling victim to scams
Facebook users can fall for scams on Pages, Facebook Marketplace, or even Messenger. Common sense can help you identify some. But here are a few tips to keep you and your data safe:
- Create strong credentials: Create a strong Facebook login to prevent your account from being stolen. And don’t use the same password as for other accounts. You can also enable two-factor authentication through the authenticator app.
- Don’t click on links from untrusted sources: Links that direct you away from Facebook may contain malware or are designed to steal your login history.
- Decline suspicious friend requests: Requests from people you don’t know, or from a real friend you’ve already interacted with, could be scammers in disguise.
- Do not send money or goods to anyone: The goal of many scams is to raise money in some way. Don’t send money online or send gift cards or other items to people you don’t know.
- Look for verified Facebook credentials: If you’re applying for a job or interacting with a Company Page, make sure it’s verified.
How do you contact Facebook about a scam?
Go to the scam account’s profile or page and click the three-dot button. Then select “find support or report profile” and follow the prompts to submit a report to Facebook.
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