Has Social Media Made the Scamming Landscape More Subtle, More Difficult to Spot?

    Social media is one of the ways to connect with friends, and people spend several hours on it each day. Social media today is not only for keeping in touch with friends and family. They are now the leading sources of information, news, merchandise, games, and entertainment.

    While social media is now almost an integral part of every person’s daily life and provides positive influence, it is also a source of many fraudulent activities. Some of them are so subtle and realistic, making them difficult to notice.

    The FTC report

    According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), social media apps and websites are already the popular hangouts of various scammers. The commission receives reports continuously from people losing money to scams that began on social media. The FTC said frauds increased in Q2 2020.

    The financial loss due to social media fraud was $134 million in 2019. But in the first six months of 2020, it reached $117 million. According to the FTC, most scams were related to online shopping, income or economic relief opportunities, and romance.

    For e-commerce sites, the reports are primarily about the non-delivery of ordered goods. However, if you are a victim of an e-commerce scam or other fraudulent schemes and want to recover your losses, you can use the Payback Ltd review for your chargeback support.

    Deepfakes

    Deepfake uses various AI and machine learning methods to create audio and video recordings and images that scammers manipulate. They use an individual, typically a social media personality or influencer. They present a character as doing or saying something that did not happen. The technology can mimic the voices, faces, and movements with high accuracy. It can be challenging to tell if the content is actual, as it can be compelling.

    Cybercriminals use the technology to spread fraud scams and misinformation. Although still considered relatively new, it caused a financial loss in 2020 of more than $250 million.

    Other social media scams

    Cybercriminals use various techniques to steal valuable information and con people through social media. Thus, it pays to know them to avoid a scam while using social media.

    • Lottery and gift card. It is an announcement declaring you won the lottery or posts giving out gift cards from popular stores. The link sends you to a page asking for various data, ranging from name and address, phone number, and banking information.
    • Gossip scams. They play on your fascination with celebrities. The linked page will ask you to download an app but sends you malware or Trojans instead.
    • Catphishing. It scams people who are looking for a relationship. The scam involves online harassment by faking an identity, starting a relationship, and later extorting money from the victim.

    The people’s fascination with social media made it easy for cybercriminals to use the platform as their scamming device. It pays to become aware of the many techniques they use to avoid parting with your money. Some of their methods are so subtle you cannot tell if it is real or bogus. Criminals can use their victims’ families and friends to make their scams appear natural.

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