Tuesday, August 23, 2016, AM | Leave Comment
There are so many scams on Facebook today, each more enticing than the last. Some offer free products while others have compelling clickbait titles.
The best thing that you can do to protect yourself against Facebook scams is to educate yourself.
Read on to learn the types of scams, how to identify a scam, what to do if you’ve been scammed, as well as how to protect yourself from scams.
Types of Facebook Scams
- Farming Scams
Many scammers want to get as much information about you as they can, and then they sell it to third parties. They do this by posting a photo that’s too good to pass up, or they guilt you into liking or sharing.
For example, some say “If you don’t share this, you don’t love Jesus!” or something similar. Once you “like” it or share it, they will look at your public profile and get a lot of information about you.
- Software Scams
If you click on some articles, you will be directed to a page that either claims you have a plugin that is out of date, or you have won something.
Typically, these articles are either lewd or shocking. Do not download anything. I repeat, DO NOT DOWNLOAD ANYTHING! Get out of there as soon as possible! It is a scam, and it will harm your computer.
- Private Profile
We’ve all seen posts claiming things such as “It was on the news! Starting Monday, Facebook will charge you to keep your account private!
Copy and paste this on your wall or you will be charged!” and “Facebook now claims access to your photos unless you paste the following statement on your wall!”
Facebook will NEVER charge you to use their services unless they make an announcement directly from the company. You won’t have to copy and paste it to your wall.
Identifying a Scam
Below are a few ways that you can identify a Facebook Scam.
Fake accounts are typically farming scams. Facebook puts a blue circle with a white checkmark in the middle next to the name of a verified account.
For example, the official Walt Disney World page has this symbol next to it, while a couple of fake accounts such as “Disney World.” do not.
Often, fake pages will have a “.” next to the name. Also, if you get a friend request from someone that you’re already friends with, chances are it is a fake account. You should report these pages to Facebook.
Too Good to Be True
If someone offers something — a giveaway, a deal, etc. — that is too good to be true, it probably is.
Be wary of any giveaway or promotion that offers a free trip, tickets, etc. as well as any crazy bargains that you find.
Always do your homework before you give your information out to everyone or purchase anything online.
If one of your friends posts something that seems to be uncharacteristic of them, don’t click on it, and let them know that their account might have been hacked.
Many Facebook scam artists try to lure people in with posting shocking news stories that aren’t true. If you see something with a clickbait title, exercise caution. It’s probably a scam.
What to Do If You’ve Been Scammed
Get rid of it ASAP
You need to get rid of the application or software as soon as possible. If something was downloaded, delete it; if you have a new app on Facebook, delete it; and if you’re on a page trying to get information, close it.
Change Your Password
Change your password if you’ve been posting spam on your Facebook wall or sending messages to friends.
Keep an Eye on Your Bank Account
If you’ve bought something online that you’re not sure is legitimate, keep an eye on your bank account for the next few weeks. If anything fraudulent shows up, call your provider and cancel it ASAP.
Protect Yourself From Scams
Do a quick google search to verify that the company is legitimate. It may be helpful to type the name of the company and then the word “Scam”.
Visit the company’s website when you search them on Google. Does it seem legitimate?
Use companies and products you can trust.
Remember that if it is too good to be true, it probably is.
Never give away private information such as passwords, bank account information, etc. to anyone online.
Sometimes it is better to pay a few extra dollars to ensure that something is legitimate, especially if the legitimate company offers a guarantee, like this one.
If it starts with “OMG,” “Shocking” or “You’ll never believe…” don’t click on it.
Check Snopes.com to verify if crazy stories are true or not.
Check the URL to make sure that you are entering your password into the official Facebook site, not a scammer who has managed to look like Facebook.
Be smart when browsing the internet.
This article is written By: Darci Maxwell