How scammers use social media and other online platforms to lure victims

One of the most common tactics that scammers use to lure victims is impersonation.

cyber security, cyber kavach, online scams, phishing, dating scam, online shopping
Scammers may use social media platforms to promote fraudulent investment opportunities.

In today’s digital world, social media platforms and online communication channels have become essential parts of our daily lives. While these platforms offer a great opportunity for people to connect and share ideas, they also provide fertile ground for scammers to exploit unsuspecting victims. Social media platforms are popular among scammers because they provide a vast pool of potential victims, a sense of anonymity, and easy access to personal information.

One of the most common tactics that scammers use to lure victims is impersonation. Scammers often create fake profiles on social media platforms or online dating sites, posing as someone trustworthy, such as a military officer, a wealthy businessperson, or a celebrity. They then use these fake profiles to start conversations with unsuspecting victims, gaining their trust and building a rapport with them. Once the scammers establish a level of trust, they may ask for money, personal information, or other sensitive data.

Beware of phishing attacks

These scams involve creating fake emails or social media messages that appear to be from legitimate sources, such as banks or government agencies. The messages usually contain a link to a fake website that looks like the real one, prompting the victim to enter their personal information, such as credit card numbers, usernames, or passwords. Once the scammers obtain this information, they can use it to steal the victim’s identity or commit other fraudulent activities. Scammers may use phishing emails, messages, or links to trick victims into providing personal information. They may also use phishing scams to install malware on victims’ devices. In some cases, scammers may even use ransomware to encrypt the victim’s data and demand a ransom to restore access to it.

“Here’s your giveaway!” scams

Scammers may create fake giveaways on social media platforms to lure victims into giving away personal information or sending money. These scams often promise large rewards in exchange for a small fee or personal information.

Romantic scams

Scammers also use social media to prey on people’s emotions. For instance, they may use the recent death of a loved one to appeal to someone’s sympathy and encourage them to donate money to a fake charity. They may also use fake news stories or sensational headlines to manipulate people’s emotions and encourage them to share personal information or click on a link.

Online shopping trap

Scammers also use social media to promote fraudulent products or services. They may create fake websites or social media pages that claim to offer high-quality goods or services at a discounted price. Once a victim has made a purchase, the scammer may either send a cheap knockoff product or simply disappear with the victim’s money. To avoid falling for this type of scam, it’s important to only make purchases from reputable websites and to never provide credit card or other personal information to an unverified source.

Cautious while investing

Scammers may use social media platforms to promote fraudulent investment opportunities. They may promise high returns on investments or offer insider information to entice victims into investing money.

“How can we help you?” They can’t

Scammers often create fake tech support websites or call victims claiming to be from a reputable tech company. They then trick victims into providing remote access to their devices or paying for unnecessary services. The scammers create close to original social media accounts of brands/organisations and add fake customer support numbers to con people. These pages are identical to the original with a slight difference in maybe the spelling or the pictures.

It’s essential to be cautious and sceptical when using social media and other online platforms. One must remain wary of unsolicited messages or links, and always verify the identity of the person or business before providing any personal information.

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First published on: 23-03-2023 at 17:12 IST