Category: social media scam

LinkedIn Scams

LinkedIn is a business social media network with over 500 million members. LinkedIn profiles show a lot about you that is of use to scammers. If scammers find a way to connect with you, they have an easy way to send you email and generally people are more trusting on LinkedIn than other social media networks.

There are two common types of scams that involve LinkedIn.

  1. Emails that appear to have come from LinkedIn. Fraudsters ask the recipient to click a link within the email to accept the invitation or to view the sender’s LinkedIn profile. The links within these emails are often to another website and these may be scam sites ready to download malicious software to your computer.
  2. Requests coming from LinkedIn members. The fraudster creates a LinkedIn account. With the fake profile, the fraudster can then send LinkedIn connection requests. These invitations arrive in the LinkedIn inbox, which makes the request look less suspicious, especially if the criminal has been successful in connecting with a few other people that you may know or who may be on your contact list.

Pointers to a Scam

  • The sender has very few connections
  • The sender’s profile is mostly blank
  • There are numerous misspellings and grammatical errors
  • The photo is not of a person but is a graphic or a logo or something meaningless
  • The sender’s job title typically makes them an executive at a bank or other financial institution

If you accept a connection request from one of these scammers, the only value is that it makes their profile look more legitimate as it now has a larger number of connections . But what the scammer wants is to talk with you online, pull you into their fraudulent world and steal from you.

If you regret having agreed to a connection, you can block it and if there is evidence of fraud then pass that on to the LinkedIn authorities so they can stop the account.

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The Instagram Money Flipping Scam

On Instagram in particular but also to a lesser degree on Facebook, Twitter and other social media is a scam known as money flipping.

The scammers advertise that they can flip your money – that is to change a small amount into a large amount in hours.  Often the offer is to add a zero to your account e.g. change $100 into $1000.

How does the scam work?

People are conned into believing this is possible by photos posted of people who had their money flipped, testimonies of people who’ve made a fortune this way etc.

Of course none of it is possible – it’s just a simple scam to catch greedy people.

You contact the scammer and they tell you to buy a Western Union card or Green Dot Moneypak card or any other pre-paid money card and load it with $100 or $200 or $500 etc. as you wish.

Then to get it flipped into $1,000 or $2,000 or $5,000 etc. you give them the card details so they can multiply your money but instead they simply empty your card into their account and your money is untraceably gone.

A surprisingly large number of people have been caught out by this scam and there are endless scammers trying it.

Instagram and the other social media networks are trying to remove the scammers but as soon as one account is deleted up pops another one.

If something is too good to be true – it almost certainly is a scam.

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Paybookclub Social Network

“Social media site is giving away a million shares”

Paybookclub is giving customers the chance to own its shares.

That sounds good, especially as it’s free. But everything is not what is seems.

Paybookclub is another social media network (run by a Marketing company CapexSales Ltd) and there’s no harm in that.

BUT, Paybookclub promises to pay members for posting their content on its service, allowing them to earn cash for every like and share they receive on their posts.

How is it possible for a social media network to pay you just for posting whatever you want?

There has to be a catch!

There are already several social media networks that claim to do this – such as empowr  []

They supposedly pay their members but it seems their members find that the rules don’t tell you how to make money and there are hidden costs that outweigh any ‘earnings’ so they never get to the cash.

If you choose become a member of Paybookclub – read the rules and terms and conditions carefully and don’t expect money for just making your own postings.

If you’ve been involved with Paybookclub or any similar social networks that claim to pay you – do let me know by email.

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Beware Social Networking Scams

There is a rapid growth in the prevalence of social networking scams and the most common ones are listed below.

1.                 Fake Identity

businessman-607834_640Creating accounts on social networking sites is generally very simple and quick.  Do not trust someone’s name unless you really do know the person.

There are harmless reasons why someone might create a fake identity on social media but more commonly they are used for selling fake items, spam messages and identity theft.

The scammers sometimes pretend to be a real person – they collect information, phot

2. Viruses, Ransomware and Other Malware

Facebook and some other social networking sites allow for installation of 3rd party APPS. Most of these are harmless but scammers can create these APPS and attempt to have you download them. They may send you a message that appears to be from the site management or from a friend, but the APP may try to steal your identity information, password and/or credit card details.

Do not trust 3rd party APPS unless you are sure they are OK.

3. Identity Theft

Profile pages often contain personal information that is very useful to scammers, such as  your age/birthdate, your location, phone number, email address,  job and family details. Plus your photos.

They might try to build on that by phishing for your log-on password.  “Phishing” means the scammer pretends to be someone you would trust  e.g. a bank or the management of the social media site and tries to get your password etc.

The most common technique is the message through the network that appears to have come from an online buddy, inviting you to check out a new profile page. Clicking the link takes you to a bogus page that asks you to log on “again.” In reality, you’re handing over your confidential password to a scammer.

You can limit the risk of this type of identity theft by not posting too much giveaway detail about yourself on your profile page and watching out for suspicious invitations to view another profile.

Beware of any links that you have clicked that then ask you to sign on again. If you’re already signed on to the network you would not normally be asked to sign in again – be suspicious.

4.         Misuse of Activity Information

You must be careful on what information you publish on social networking sites. It’s good to be open but do realise that some information is a gift to criminals or can lead to future embarrassment.

e.g.1.  I’m off to India for 2 weeks on Tuesday. Have left the dog at Uncles. i.e. your house will be unoccupied for 2 weeks. If your address is accessible anywhere on the Internet then this is a gift to a burglar.

e.g. 2. Just back from last night’s party – was drunk in the gutter and taken in by the Police. See picture taken by friends. This is not so good if you’re going job hunting as prospective employers may read your social networking entries.

e.g. 3. Been snogging Julia again – hope her husband doesn’t find out. He may just do that.

5. Profile Page Hacks

If your password is guessable, then you may find your profile page has been hacked. They can  install invisible code that can be used for malicious purposes. Or they simply use your ID as a platform for spamming.

The key to preventing this type of attack is not only to have a strong password .

Refer to blog post for details on how to set strong passwords

If your profile or your identity are in any way compromised, you should also inform the site operator. If threats are involved, tell the police.

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