We’ve seen how social media evolved in the last decade. How it thrived in multifaceted online communities where over 3 billion people around the globe are active daily. Cybercriminals have exploited this trend to prey on gullible online users. Many are still unaware of scams designed and dressed to trick people in giving out their personal information.
According to IT security services experts, while social media pages may look safe, one should always keep in mind that the bad guys are always on the prowl looking for their hit. The rise of scams in social media should be a red flag and raising awareness is the first step to keep them at bay.
Here are some tips to help you recognize or fend off these scams:
Using Messages from Friends
This social media scam looks like a private message (PM) from an FB contact. Truth is, cybercriminals may have already hacked into your friend’s account and have forwarded their credentials to others who may then use it to send spam messages or malware to you and their FB friends.
If you start to have doubts with social media messages from your contacts, alert them as soon as possible that their pages may have been infiltrated (but remember, don’t reply to the message). If you are redirected to a different page when you open the message, check the URL of this page. If it is directed to a page different from where you are expecting to go, make a quick exit.
Fake Password Update Requests
In this scam, you may, for example, get an email that is disguised as a typical message from a social media page you’re subscribed to. However, this email will tell you that you need to update your password and will prompt a log-in page to perform the action. Once you click on the prompt, you’ll be directed to a fake webpage that simulates the social media site. Once you enter your user name or password, your information has been phished.
Remember, if the prompt leads you to a webpage that asks you to enter crucial data has an URL that is different from the site you intended to go, chances are this may be a phishing attempt.
Fake “For Adults Only” Videos
This begins with a hacker infiltrating and hacking into several social media accounts. Using the hacked pages, the criminal shares a post with a link that appears to lead to an 18+, NSFW or porn video. Then they’ll tag several contacts from this account. If you go to the page, the video won’t play, and will ask you to download a browser extension to view it. Once installed, this extension will steal your data and the cyber goons will soon have access to the data you input in the browser— this includes your user name, password or any info you type in the site.
Never click on suspicious links. Also, be vigilant. Never ever install extensions that have no descriptions, ratings or screenshots.