Are you living under a rock? 

Every day, Americans come across scams, whether through email, text, and now, social media.  

Most people have a LinkedIn profile to connect and network online with colleagues and other professionals; an Instagram account to connect with friends and family, or a Twitter to stay up to date with the news. Social media can be a valuable tool. However, scammers are taking advantage of this environment to lure unsuspecting victims into scams. 

Here’s how it usually goes… 

A cyber criminal posing as a professional creates a fraudulent profile and reaches out to their target. The scammer eventually offers to help the victim make money through a crypto investment, starting with small talk over LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter messaging. 

Interviewed victims say that since they received the messages on a trusted platform, they tend to believe the investments are legitimate.

How to stay ahead?  

  • Protect Your Information - Do not give out any financial information or click on any suspicious links. Keep your eyes open for red flags on social media.

  • If It Looks Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is - Scammers rely on you having your guard down, and they use enticements and threats, often with a false sense of urgency, to bypass your natural suspicions. If you feel like nothing adds up, always trust that feeling.   

  • Verify Requests - When cyber criminals successfully hack an account or gather enough data they will often pose as a co-worker or acquaintance. By appearing as someone you trust, they have a better chance of tempting you to click on a link, share information or even potentially send money. 

Did You Fall for a Social Media Scam? Do This!

With 25% of all fraud victims getting scammed on social media, there’s a good chance that you could become a victim. Here’s what to do if you’ve been scammed on social media. 

If scammers took over your social media account:
  • Request a password reset email from the social media service. Each site and app has a different process for recovering a hacked account.

  • Once you regain access, force any unfamiliar sessions to log out. For example, check your “login activity” and look for devices or locations that you don’t recognize.

  • Then, update the email and phone number associated with your account, and change your passwords. 

  • Enable 2FA on your account and use an authenticator app such as Authy (instead of text or SMS).

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