Social media scams are unfortunately common. And Facebook scams are among the most problematic because of the sheer volume of people who use 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 Making Their Rounds Today
Online scammers attempt to target Facebook users in numerous ways. Some reach out on Facebook Messenger. Others create convincing posts that go out to multiple users. Here are several to look out for.
1. Fake Giveaways
Real giveaways are popular on Facebook, making this a particularly 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 Scams on Facebook Messenger
Just as you can fall for a phishing scam via email, it’s possible to do the same in direct messages on Facebook Messenger. Often, the suspicious activity includes redirecting users to a new page that looks like the Facebook login page. But this fake page simply collects the person’s login info instead.
3. Romance Scams
Romance scams are a bit more involved. This Facebook scam usually starts with a friend request from an unknown individual. They may spend time messaging back and forth to build a relationship before requesting money for a specific purpose.
4. Fake Job Offers
Some scammers create fake brands and post job offers on Facebook to collect personal information like your Social Security number and address. Verifying the company and individual can help limit the risk.
5. Bogus Apps
Scammers often post scam ads on Facebook that promise great deals or coupons for downloading an app. However, these deals don’t really exist, and the links often include malware, so use caution before clicking anything that seems too good to be true.
6. Identity Theft
Identity theft on Facebook may include any scheme that collects personal information. Or some scammers copy Facebook accounts to connect with your friends in attempts to get their information as well.
7. Fraudulent Surveys
Market research companies often offer cash for those willing to take surveys. However, scammers also make this promise, but they may request extra information like bank account numbers.
8. Facebook Privacy Scam
Facebook privacy scams often involve accounts reaching out offering to protect your profile or claiming that you can simply post a status to secure your privacy rights on the platform.
9. Fake Charities
Fake charities may create an entire Facebook page to make their organization look legitimate. But then they collect money through online fundraisers and give none of it to charity.
8. Games & Quizzes
Games and quizzes can provide some fun. But they also can collect data used to steal your identity. Beware of any that ask you to enter information that may be used in security answers or passwords.
10. Fake Facebook Profile Scam
Scammers often clone Facebook accounts to gain trust from a person’s network. Beware if you get friend requests from those you’ve already connected with.
11. Fake Facebook Friend Request
Friend requests may also come from friends of friends. But scammers may have simply duped your other connections as well.
12. Malware Scam
Malware scams involve malicious software downloaded to devices via suspicious links. These links may 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 Scams
Shopping scams generally involve selling products on Facebook Marketplace or linking users to other sites. However, the store isn’t actually real and products are never shipped.
15. Fake Login Page
Fake login page scams occur when scammers share links that direct other users to a page that looks like the Facebook homepage. But when you enter your login information, they can then gain access to your account.
16. Fake Accounts
A cloned account may be used to steal money, social security number, or other personal information.
17. Instant Loans
Instant loans or any financial offer that seems too good to be true may be trying to steal your information or getting you to download malware.
18. Cryptocurrency Schemes
Cryptocurrency schemes also often include suspicious logins or require personal information that can be used against you.
19. Lottery Scams
Lottery scams generally require payment information or direct you to click on outside links that may be compromised accounts.
20. Secret Santa Scammers
Secret Santa exchanges are often fun in person. But online, you may simply be purchasing gifts or providing funds to scammers.
What are the Signs of Someone Scamming You?
Scams can come in many different forms. However, they generally involve someone sharing a link or financial offer that seems out of place or too good to be true. You may also spot scams by noticing duplicate Facebook accounts or requests from people you don’t know.
How Facebook Users Can Avoid being Victims of Scams
Facebook users can fall for scams on pages, Facebook Marketplace, or even Messenger. Common sense may help you identify some. But here are a few tips to keep you and your data safe:
- Create strong login credentials: To avoid having your account stolen, create a strong Facebook login. And don’t use the same password as you do on other accounts. You can also enable two-factor authentication via the authenticator app.
- Avoid clicking links from untrusted sources: Links that direct you away from Facebook could include malware or intend to steal your login history.
- Deny suspicious friend requests: Requests from people you don’t know, or from a real friend you’ve already connected with, could be scammers in disguise.
- Don’t send money or goods to anyone: The goal of many scams is to collect money in some way. Avoid sending any funds online or mailing 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 business page, make sure it’s verified.
How do You Contact Facebook about a Scam?
Go to the profile or page of the scamming account and click the button that includes three dots. Then select “find support or report profile” and follow the prompts to file a report with Facebook.
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