Social media platforms are a great way to stay in touch with those closest to you. However, if you’re not careful you could fall victim to a scam, some of which look very convincing at first glance. NBCNews.com offers the following advice on how you can spot common scams and frauds and the best methods for avoiding them.
Be wary of requests for money
Facebook messenger is often used as a means of contacting unwitting victims. In this case, a scam artist may send an unsolicited message claiming you won a prize, but in order to receive it you must send money first. Nearly all sweepstakes or prizes of this nature are offered with no purchase necessary. Accordingly, always verify any messages that claim you won something with the company offering the prize.
Profiles can sometimes be cloned
Scam artists may also use a cloned profile in an attempt to befriend you. In some cases, they may even claim to be famous people, which is usually the case with lottery scams. Don’t click any links you’re given, as these often lead to phishing sites. Also, if something seems too good to be true then it probably is. If you’re contacted by a celebrity about an award you won, chances are you’re a target of fraud.
You can’t win a contest you didn’t enter
Perhaps the easiest way to prevent online and social media scams is to ask yourself a simple question; did I enter any contests recently? It is extremely rare to be entered into a contest without knowing, and it’s even rarer to be awarded a major prize as a result. Virtually all lotteries and contests require the participant to provide some sort of information to be in the running. If you have not provided this information and are informed you’re a winner, proceed with caution.