Social media is the easiest and quickest way in today’s time to stay in touch with your loved ones and make new friends and stay updated with current events. But it is also the place that is a gold mine for scammers to extract money from users. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s a low-cost way to reach out to billions of people and zero in on easy targets
Ever heard of bank fraud via social media? It usually involves social media impersonation and is more common than you think. This means the scammers mimic or duplicate a legitimate user’s social media profile to extract money or sensitive information like credit and debit card details or bank account numbers and passwords. Let’s first understand the modus operandi of these scammers and how they work.
Creating fake social media profiles
This is one of the most common methods adopted by scammers to dupe someone of their money. For example, a fraudster might make a fake account of someone on your friend list on Facebook or a follower on your Instagram account, and then personally message you asking for money, giving an excuse like it’s urgent for medical purposes and that they are in need. They can also send you random video links so that you click on them and end up submitting your personal details. This is online fraud.
Fraudsters can track your bank complaints
Another way of impersonation involves fraudsters tracking down user complaints registered with banks and financial players. Once they track down these complaints, the scammers pretend to be some official from the bank and call the users to convince them to share their confidential information.
Sometimes even when complaints regarding some products or services are shared on social media, fraudsters pick up on those complaints and get in touch with the users on account of pretending to solve those issues. While doing so, they try to take as much personal information as they can and defraud the customers.
How can you prevent banking fraud through social media?
The best practice is never to trust social media with your personal details. If you have a concern regarding a service or a product, instead of putting it on the brand’s social media page, try to lodge the complaint with them on their official website or through the contacts given on their official sites. And remember, banks never ask for any money or info on social media.
It is best to always verify the genuineness of money requests from friends and relatives on social media. Think about it, why would the person reach out to you from their social media profiles rather than calling you up directly? Even if they could do so, it is better to call them up personally and check with them. Also, don’t ignore fake profiles. Always report them if you encounter them online.
Never share your personal and confidential information on social media platforms or with anyone claiming to be a relative, friend, or official from the bank. Always double-check with them personally by getting in touch with them yourself.
Not many may know this but one should never search for helpline numbers on Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Instead, one should check the official bank/service provider’s website and then make the final call.
If you are ever contacted by a social media profile that claims to be an official account of a bank or business, double-check by verifying the platform, their number of followers, website URLs etc.