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Watch out for the latest Facebook scams

Published 18 December 2016 by

Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and WhatsApp. Most of us have heard of them, while many of us spend ages using them.

The world of social media is always at your fingertips with tools that make it easier for you to stay connected and update your family, friends and contacts with pictures and daily stories. Unfortunately, fraudsters see this as a way to target innocent people – that’s why it’s important to protect yourself from cyber scams. We’ll take you through the latest scams out there, including the current risks to Facebook users.

Promising prizes

There’s nothing wrong with a freebie. We all love a good loyalty scheme, cashback deal or bargain. But you definitely wouldn’t like it if you were promised a prize and your personal details were used to scam you.

Posts that claim you’ve won a prize, or encourage you to share a prize winning post are often fake campaigns. The moment thousands of people are following the post, scammers change the message. They lure the personal details out of followers or coerce them to download a virus known as ransomware.

You’ll then be asked to enter your banking details to unlock your system. You should never do this – this will give scammers access to your banking info.

Moneymaking schemes

Promises of moneymaking schemes or investments are rife on Facebook. You could see them innocently shared by your friends who don’t realise it’s actually a scam.

Look out for pyramid or ’Ponzi’ schemes that depend on you making money based on how many people you recruit. You usually have to pay to join the scheme and you generally won’t see any money. Instead, you’ll be paying money to the person at the top of the pyramid. Most money-making schemes that promise a lot in a short space of time and appear too good to be true often are, so be vigilant.

Don’t Like too much

Liking pages on Facebook can take you to fake websites that have been set up to grab your info. Scammers will even go the lengths of exploiting images of animal cruelty to get your likes and those of your friends. Just be careful of what you Like and stick to people and businesses you’re familiar with. If you check back on something you’ve liked and it’s changed, just Unlike it and report the page.

Top tips on watching out for Facebook scams

• Review your likes and see if anything has changed. If it has, Unlike it and report it.

• Watch out for viral videos, games and quizzes that ask for your details – these can lead you to scammers.

• Before you give out personal details to a third party, understand what they’re asking for and who is asking for that info. If you’re not sure, don’t give out any details.

• If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is – ignore the post and move on.

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