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Seven Common Social Media Scams

  • Highlights

  • Catfishing is a common social media fraud that involves faking an identity to gain the trust of the target

  • Do not fall for bait – lottery, scandals, gossip, promises, money from home are all such examples

  • Do not click on unsolicited links or disclose any financial or account information

Social media has become an integral part of most people’s lives – a whopping 3.8 billion people use social media globally. This number is only expected to go up as the pandemic has significantly impacted the way one socializes and travels. This huge platform gives scammers yet another opportunity to target new victims. Though social media has huge benefits, it’s a common platform for people to be taken advantage of. However, with a little precaution, it becomes easy to identify the modus operandi of scammers and stay wary of them.

Here are a few examples of social media online fraud:

  1. “Clickbait” online fraud

    “Do you want to know the secret details of SSR’s death?” and when you click on the post, a new window opens up that prompts you to download the latest software to view the article. If you click on it, a bot trojan or malware gets installed.


  2. ‘Photo of you’ scam?

    ‘Hey Shonali, is this really you?’ or ‘is this post saying the truth about you?’ – this is a form of phishing scam that gets one to click on the link which opens up a page similar to the social media site where they inadvertently share their login credentials. The scammers then have unauthorised login access.


  3. Impersonation scams

    This scam involves receiving a private message from one of your contacts requesting a transfer of funds. They give excuses of lost wallets, medical emergencies, money being stolen or sharing an account number for the transfer. Always call the person reaching out to you and confirm the same since their account could be hacked.


  4. Lottery or free gift card scam

    Social media advertisement pop-up that claims you have won a dinner for two or an e-commerce gift card. When you click on it, it asks you to share some confidential information to claim the same. The information asked may vary and may include financial details for the money transfer or some ID proof. All this information gathered can be misused for unlawful monetary gains.


  5. Account cancellation phishing scam


    Seven Common Social Media Scams

    A common online fraud is sending an email stating that the recipient’s social media account has been locked and requires verification by clicking a link. This link takes you to a cloned page and requires account information such as the username and password to unlock the account. This gives scammers unauthorised access to the victim’s account.


  6. Catfishing social media online fraud

    Since online social interaction is growing, so are social media-founded relationships. It is said that 70% of the developed world will meet their soulmates online by 2040. Catfishing is when scammers take advantage of people looking for love by faking their identity. They start a relationship and then somehow use this trust to scam people for money.


    Seven Common Social Media Scams
  7. Work from home and money-making schemes

    Targeted social media users receive a post guaranteeing a job from home a daily remuneration or the chance to make lakhs of rupees every week. Once you express interest in the offer, they either ask for a small sum of money for the ‘administrative fees’ or get the person to disclose their financial information.


How to Avoid Social Media Scams

Now that you are well versed with what is a social media scam, it is advised to follow a few tips to not fall prey to this growing online fraud.

  • Never click on any pop-ups that sound too good to be true, offer gossip, promise sizzling details, scandalous information, and other such bait

  • Create a strong password and use multi-factor authentication wherever you can. Do not share this password with anyone

  • Do not fall for intimidating emails. Drop an email to the customer care team and confirm the same

  • Do not overshare information on social media as that can may lead scammers to figure out your secret question, login information, password, etc. by giving cues

  • Do not transfer money, even to a love interest unless you have physically met them.

We at Bajaj Finserv want to help eliminate online fraud and constantly request our users to follow safety protocols online. Not sharing financial information and always reaching out to the impersonated companies via trusted channels in case of concern are things to be mindful of – be it banking or social media.

Savdhaan Rahein. Safe Rahein.

Read more:
• Cautionary Note - https://www.bajajfinserv.in/cautionary-notice-new.pdf
• Infosec Page - https://www.bajajfinserv.in/infosec-pages
• Fraud Awareness Blog - https://www.bajajfinserv.in/insights/fraud-awareness

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