The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that scams starting on social media have proliferated during the pandemic. Scammers are hiding out on social media and using ads and offers to attract their next unsuspecting victims.
Customer Alert – Many Scams Start on Social Media
Some pose as legitimate online sellers but never deliver the items for which they've been paid. Others deal in romance scams or phony offers of financial help such as grants or other pandemic-related relief. These types of scams are after money, personal information, or both.
How does it work? Scammers can hide behind phony profiles on social media. They can take over an account or join a virtual community you trust to encourage you to trust them. But you can make it harder for scammers to target you with these strategies:
If you spot a scam, report it to the social media site and to the FTC at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/.
- Review your social media privacy settings and limit what you share publicly.
- Before you buy based on an ad or post, check out the company. Type its name in a search engine with words like "scam" or "complaint."
- If someone appears on your social media and rushes you to start a friendship or romance, slow down. Do some reading about romance scams.
- If you get a message from a friend about a grant or financial relief, call them. Did they really send that message? If not, their account may have been hacked. Check it out before you act.
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