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BBB Top Scams Are on Social Media

April 14th, 2014 | by admin admin | in Security Advice |    0   comments

social_media.jpgEven scammers have LinkedIn profiles. According to the Better Business Bureau’s 2014 Top 10 Scams, consumers continue to fall for the same old schemes, in a new social media and mobile environment. Have you come across any of these fraud schemes on the Internet?

Astroturfing: A company posts fake online reviews on sites like Google, Yelp or Amazon. Do your research. Read a wide sample of reviews, including those on other sites, and check with the BBB.

Catphishing: Someone you met online wants to chat outside of the dating or social media site where you met. Before long, romance turns into a request for money. Your admirer, an ex-pat living overseas, has a sick relative or was robbed. Don’t believe it. A stock photo profile image is often a red flag.

Enterprise Fee Scheme: On social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Youtube, con artists aggressively promote investments that are sure to be “the next big thing.” You may see a re-tweet, or receive a text. Beware any “low risk, high return” hype. The promoter, in a variation of the “Nigerian Letter” scam, usually asks you for a small transaction fee. You pay, but receive nothing.

Insta-scam: On mobile apps like Instagram or Snapchat, youths may unknowingly share photos of fake prize giveaways. The contests lead to fake web sites or online quizzes to collect personal information, like credit card details.

Then there’s the Scam of the Year: the Celebrity Gossip Scam. A sensational video or photo--“Justin Bieber smokes crack with Rob Ford and Miley Cyrus” or “Embarrassing Kardashian Selfies”—shows up in your newsfeed. Sure, it’s spam, but you can’t resist taking a peek. The video takes you to an online survey and the spammer collects advertising revenue, or you accidentally download malware. Either way, you don’t win. And there’s no actual content.

Online and offline, it pays to be savvy.


Note: This blog discusses general safety and security topics. It is not intended to provide comprehensive advice or guidance. In all matters of personal safety and security, we encourage readers to research topics in depth and consult a security professional about specific concerns.

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