How social norms can be exploited by social media scammers

Social media platforms are great hunting grounds for crooks. This is where we connect with our friends or people with whom we have something in common. This is precisely what scammers exploit: our relationships and the trust that exists between friends or acquaintances.

From an early age, we are taught to be kind and compassionate as well as to help others, especially the people we know as friends and family. In turn, they will help us if we ever need it. It is socially desired behavior.

Most people think and operate this way. But this is also how we can be exploited by crooks. Watch the following real-life case study of a common Facebook scam that targets friends of a victim’s compromised account.

Although this scam was perpetrated against Jackie’s Facebook friends, there is still something Jackie could have done to prevent this scam. While we can’t control how social media companies protect our data from cybercriminals, we can always do something to prevent cybercriminals from fraudulently using our data. Make sure you use strong and unique passwords for all your connections using a good password manager. This is important because if a scammer obtains your account login information and you use the same password on your social media account as the one used on our email, the intruder can easily log into both accounts. . This means that any login alert sent by a social network account will be intercepted. Using the same password for multiple accounts also means that the scammer can compromise your other accounts. The fraudulent login process would also be interrupted if a two-factor authentication method is enabled on your accounts.

If you are a “friend” who just received a strange message from one of your friends on a social media platform, it would be wise to verify the information provided. Call the person who sent you the request on their phone to verify the information. If you can’t do this, there is another way you can try to get verified. For example, you can try asking a question that only the person can answer. Or try asking a trick question – something you know isn’t an exact fact about the friend in question – to see how they respond. Then watch for vague answers or avoidance to answer the question. This can often trigger warning signs that something is wrong.

It’s also important to understand that many scams exploit our kindness and good nature. There are many social media fundraisers out there, and many are not genuine. It is always recommended to make a habit of checking the facts before transferring funds.

Here are some more tips on how to stay safe on social media.

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About Marjorie C. Hudson

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