Crooks will use all means to steal your money and information, and social media is a great platform to find new victims. The biggest social networks have billions of users, so even a small percentage who aren’t paying attention offers a huge target.
Social media can be put to good use when it comes to charities and donations for people facing disasters and unfortunate events. But the crooks have grabbed hold of this and are targeting the so-called Good Samaritans. Tap or click here to see how bots are cloning Twitter accounts to scam donations from others through payment services.
Now the Better Business Bureau is warning against deceptive social media ads. Ads promote personalized products and are a great bait for holiday shoppers. Click on it and you might not get what you expect.
Here is the backstory
The window for holiday shopping is narrowing, and you might be tempted to try just about anything to get the perfect gifts for your loved ones. Personalized gifts are a great way to show someone you love them, but be careful how you go about finding one.
The BBB has reported deceptive ads running on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. The scam involves advertisements depicting personalized products such as clothing and key chains.
Clicking on the ad link will take you to a company’s website to make the purchase. It can all go smoothly, but it is not close to what you expected when you received the product. The quality may be poor, or the product will have some errors or be completely wrong.
You may not receive anything at all.
Customer service will be spotty if you can even contact them. They can assure you that they will fix the problem, but that’s a lie. And good luck getting your money back.
What to do (or not to do)
The BBB has provided some tips for avoiding these types of scams:
- Research the company before you buy. Before entering any personal information on a website, do a thorough research on the company. Examine the website. Poor quality pictures, pictures found on other websites, and spelling and grammar errors are all red flags. A real business should have valid contact information (i.e. a working phone number and customer service email address). If the business has a physical address, search for it on Google or Apple Maps. Then see if they have a profile on BBB.org.
- Look for reviews on other websites. Read as many reviews as possible on websites other than the company selling the item. Keep an eye out for customer complaints. Search a trusted search engine for the name of the company with the word “scam” on it to see if other people have flagged the company as fake.
- Pay with a credit card. Use a credit card instead of a debit card, as it’s easier to dispute fraudulent charges with a credit card and there is a better chance of getting a refund.
Another social media scam
CNBC reports fake Instagram accounts pushing cryptocurrency scams. Scammers create impostor accounts to lure other people into fake crypto investments.
One victim told CNBC that other scam victims contacted him directly and even threatened him, believing he was behind the scheme.
Reporting fraudulent accounts may result in their deletion, but others may appear. This is why social media platforms need tighter regulation and oversight to prevent these types of scams. Check out CNBC’s full report here.
What this means for you
Social media may be the primary tool you use to stay in touch with family and friends, but it’s also increasingly inundated with scammers looking to take advantage of unsuspecting victims, often through advertisements. targeted.
✅ Do your homework before you click on the ads you see on social media sites: if it’s something that sounds too good to be true or looks suspicious, move on. Beware of heavily discounted products and promises of free services like Internet access.
✅ Also use caution when selling products through platforms like Facebook Marketplace. The crooks will reach out to you, pretending to be interested in your article, and then try to get you caught in a smart scam using Google Voice. Tap or click here for more details.
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