Can you spot a scam on social media?
Victims reported losing over $9.5 million to social media scams last year – almost three times more than in 2015*.
There are many tactics scammers use to trick their victims through social media. Social media profiles often display a lot of personal information which scammers use to shape their communications to match your interests. This is why social media is becoming a common first point of contact for dating and romance scammers.
Scammers also draw on the advertising potential in social media to target victims. Scammers set up temporary business profiles advertising very cheap products and linking through to their fake shopping website.
It can be hard to tell the difference between genuine profiles or ads on social media and the fake profiles or fake traders you may encounter. So here are some tips for staying safe and spotting social media scams:
- Don’t accept invitations on social media from people you don’t know.
- Don’t send money to someone you’ve never met in person.
- Check reviews before buying online. Try to find how reputable a seller is by searching for reviews.
- People may be able to see more about you than you realise on social media. Learn how to use your privacy and security settings to ensure you stay safe.
Visit the Scamwatch website www.scamwatch.gov.au/fraudweek2017 for more information about social media scams, how to protect yourself and what to do if you’ve been scammed.
* Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) 2016 Targeting scams report
Fraud Week is an annual initiative of the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce (ACFT), a group of government regulatory agencies and departments in Australia and New Zealand that work alongside private sector, community and non-government partners to prevent fraud.
Consumer and Business Services (CBS) is a proud member/partner of the ACFT and Fraud Week.