Facebook is a social networking site that has its fair share of nasty scams. If you think you’re too smart to fall for a scam, think again. Anyone can become a victim of an online scam, especially when it appears on a trusted platform.
Can you tell whether that link you’re about to click is a scam or not? If you’re uncertain, then we have identified some common Facebook scams to watch out for.
1. The Giveaway Scam
We’ve all seen this one a little too many times. A scam claiming that you’ve won something. Sometimes they pretend to be big brands that say you’ve been chosen as the winner of a new iPhone, a holiday, or a luxury hotel-stay in one of the world’s best resorts. If what they’re claiming you won sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
2. Friend Requests From Duplicate Accounts
If you’ve received a friend request from someone you know is your Facebook friend already, then it’s most certainly a scam. Scammers are replicating accounts and pretending to be someone in your list to get access to your activity online.
Why they’re doing it? To make you trust them, so they can send you links or content that contains viruses.
3. Facebook Marketplace Scams
With so many of us utilizing Facebook Marketplace for our sales and purchases, there are scams that are affecting the way we trade and buy things online.
From scammers asking for all kinds of additional postage costs, to people pretending to be legitimate businesses, to people selling authentic “celebrity signed merchandise”, there are definitely a lot of things to be aware of before performing any type of transaction.
Make sure you learn how to avoid common Facebook Marketplace scams so that you can transact safely on the platform.
4. Scams That Claim to Have Videos of You
There’s nothing worse than believing your privacy has been violated. If a friend is sending you a link claiming they’ve found a video of you doing something shocking or inappropriate, there is a high chance that your friend’s Facebook account got hacked. What the scammers want you to do is to click on the link and view the message so that they can send you malicious software to meddle with your devices.
These days there are a few cheap ways to protect yourself from hackers if you are in public, but it’s important to always be alert to anything you receive, from anyone.
5. Facebook Job Advertisement Scams
Who can turn away from a high-paying job offer? These types of scams have been around for a while. You may have seen them on professional networking sites where a company claims to pay top dollar for the right candidate, or you might have seen them on Facebook and WhatsApp too. There are red flags to look out for to figure out if your job offer is legitimate.
The purpose of these scams is to extract personal information about you. This may include things like your email, your home address, your social security number, and sometimes even your passport ID.
Facebook is not only a social networking site, it’s also an e-commerce platform where businesses compete for new customers. If you see a scam in the form of an advertisement where you’re being offered something you know to be expensive, for a cheap price, rest assured that you’ve been scammed.
While businesses use Facebook to promote their products and services, scammy businesses use it just as much to sell fake brands and counterfeit goods.
7. Charity Scams
This scam is usually one that you would see when something terrible happens in the world and nasty scammers use the opportunity of the disaster to get people to donate. Before you dish out your credit card details for a good cause, take a look online at reputable charities, or check Charity Navigator or CharityWatch for the most recent charity scams out there.
8. Scams Posing As Official Pages
If you’re seeing posts for good causes or from government officials, think twice. Many scammers create fake pages to lure people in and then ask them for credit card information.
Likewise, if you’ve seen posts posing as legitimate organizations offering help to citizens by offering housing, beware. These scams are circulating to take money from unsuspecting individuals who are looking for government assistance.
9. Lottery Scams on Facebook
If you’ve seen advertisements from lottery or online giveaways, beware. If they’re claiming that you are among the winners, they are likely one step away from asking you for some money so that you can claim your prize. They will ask you for personal information like your bank account and address.
10. Facebook Phishing Scams
This is the type of scam where you are sent a link that you have to click that encourages you to go to a Facebook site to update something. Except, it doesn’t lead you to Facebook at all. It’s leading you to a malicious website where you’re asked to validate your login information.
Oftentimes you may be asked to reset your Facebook account because they claim that it was “disabled for security purposes”.
Whatever you provide, the scammer’s intention is to take over your Facebook account and pretend to be you for fraudulent purposes. They might message your friends, post content pretending to be you, or use the information to access your financial accounts.
11. Catfishing Scams
A catfishing scam is designed to woo an unsuspecting user into believing that the scammer is genuinely interested in forming a connection. They may send you a message commenting on how nice you look on your profile picture, flatter you about something they’ve seen you post, or start a conversation about something they know you’re interested in.
Whatever it is, their purpose is to win your trust, and they may even do this by chatting to you for weeks or months. If you happen to fall for one of these scammers, at some point, they will ask you for money.
They might ask you to deposit something into their bank account, pretend that they need the money to come and see you, or lie about being in some sort of crisis. Getting catfished is something a lot of people experience and there are some things you can do to protect yourself from getting catfished.
12. Loan Lending Scams
If you are being offered loans through Facebook (either via message or via advertisements claiming low interest rates), you should be careful. Facebook isn’t a platform where you can look for low-interest loans, so if someone is offering you money, it’s likely because they want to take your money.
13. Download/Update Facebook App Request Scams
If you’ve received a link from a site that looks legitimate asking you for access to your Facebook account, they are trying to scam you by getting personal information about you so that they can send spam.
14. Gift Voucher Scams
We are all in for a bargain, so by the time the holidays come along, it’s no wonder that you might see some scams out there claiming to save you money by giving you discounted vouchers. All these scams want is your details so they can send you spam or malicious software.
Know What Facebook Scams Are Out There
Even the most tech-savvy, on-guard person can fall victim to one of these scams. They’re currently on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t happening elsewhere. The key to avoiding such scams is to stay alert, refrain from being impulsive, and double-check unknown links.
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