Category: social media scam

Common Twitter Scams

The most common Twitter scams are:-

1. Home Working

Lots of people would love to be able to work from home and get well paid, enabling them to organise their work life to fit in with other commitments. But the scammers know this and offer home working jobs which don’t exist. They make money by requiring an up-front payment for registration or postage or insurance or a subscription.

2. Pay for Followers

Many people want more twitter followers for their personal or business accounts and lots of scammers offer such a service. Some just take money and give nothing but others do provide more followers. However these turn out to be poor quality or fake followers that son disappear.

Plus, you put your Twitter reputation at risk and may end up banned by Twitter for engaging in spam exercises.

3. Fake Links

There are endless tweets exhorting you to click a link to see a life changing video or solve some problem in your life or win the lottery etc. Don’t click on a link unless you know what it’s for.  Many of these fake links are simply because the poster gets paid for each click but many are malicious.

4. The Twitter Phishing Scam

There are many tricks used in phishing tweets including fake sign-on pages, fake games and quizzes that ask for information that can be used by a scammer e.g. your mother’s maiden name, pet’s name, town of birth etc. Beware giving out any such personal information.

5. Other Money-making Scams

Scammers try to make money out of you.  Any public tweets you make become information for potential scams. e.g. you tweet about wanting to go a concert then get a direct message form someone offering tickets to the concert and a story as to why they are available to you cheaply as long as you respond quickly. SCAMS.

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The Instagram Badge Scam

The social media network Instagram uses badges in Live feeds to allow people to effectively donate to an account but also as a means of verifying that an account is genuine.

To get a verification badge for your Instagram profile, simply got to your profile and select settings and request verification.

You have to supply copies of valid ID documents and your account can gain the verification mark.

The advantage of being verified by Instagram is really for celebrities and others who believe that other people may pretend to be them on Instagram.

However, scammers send out mass emails offering verification and this is a phishing scam.

If you click the link in the scam email it goes to a fake website pretending to be Instagram and they want you to key in personal information such as full name, date of birth, ID documentation etc.

That is so they can steal from you using that information or sell the information to identity thieves.

Some but not all of these scam emails come from which is not Instagram.

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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Scams on LinkedIn

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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Pinterest Scams

Pinterest is a great social media network based on pictures of all kinds.

People mainly use it for inspiration – food to cook, places to go, clothes to buy, things to do, funnies, absurdities etc.

But it is also used by scammers. When you a post a picture you can add a link to a website page so scammers post something to make you click and that takes you to their scam website.

Here’s a recent example, posted by an idiot.

The woman in the photo is clearly standing further from the camera in the second photo – even her head is narrower in the second photo.

She looks to have lost weight but who knows how many weeks between the photos and she has a suntan in the second photo so maybe some weeks of holiday occurred in between photos.

However, it is impossible for anyone to lose 5 kilogrammes in2 days.

Oh and the magic herb is just parsley. Drinking parsley tea at night supposedly removes all the fat you’ve eaten that day.

No it doesn’t.

Use Pinterest for entertainment and inspiration but don’t be conned by fake photos.

Do leave a comment on this post – click on the post title then scroll down to leave your comment.

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Fake LinkedIn Job Offers

The social media network LinkedIn is a great site for people to advertise themselves to employers or to look for people to work for you.

There is so much less annoying advertising and rubbish content to contend with than with networks such as Facebook which is riddled with scammers and lies.

However, there are still scammers on LinkedIn.

The radio station is on LinkedIn with a profile that isn’t a person but a combination of people and the business of the station.

So, when an email arrived offering a job “similar to the one you do now”, but in Dubai it was obviously a scam from someone who bought the email address and has never actually looked at the profile.

‘Nicole’ claims to have read our profile and been really impressed and thinks we are perfect for this job in Dubai.

I don’t think so as there is clearly no job in Dubai just a criminal trying to get personal information from us.

Beware over keen recruiters on LinkedIn r people claiming to have your profile but who clearly haven’t bothered.

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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Social Media Accounts For Sale

People buy and sell social media accounts – for a variety of reasons and you might think this is illegal, but it isn’t. Some consider such accounts to be assets, and some go the trouble of creating and beefing up social media accounts in order to maximise the sale price.

This is definitely sketchy behaviour and immoral in many cases, but not illegal.

This largely relates to Facebook accounts but there is a market for new accounts with all of the social media networks.

Some Reasons Why People Buy Social Media Accounts

  • Advertising and Marketing companies. Facebook can impose restrictions or ban dodgy advertising. Hence, these companies can use a lot of accounts to run advertising campaigns on multiple accounts simultaneously and when accounts are limited or stopped by Facebook, they switch to other accounts.
  • Social media accounts traders and retailers. There are people and companies that make it their business to buy and sell accounts.
  • Anonymous users. Some users want to hide their identity perhaps due to unpleasant experiences online or perhaps for nastier reasons.
  • IT companies may need multiple accounts to test their tools and APPS.
  • Spammers filling the Internet with garbage no-one wants to read.
  • Scammers sending out their illegal messages to cheat people.
  • Fake news purveyors.
  • Conspiracy theorists.

Facebook accounts have higher prices if they are old. The older the account, the higher the price. Some accounts on Facebook can even cost several hundred dollars.

Buying these used accounts is not illegal but it does violate Facebook’s policy and terms and conditions. If you buy or sell you may be penalised by Facebook.

Example Prices

  • A basic Facebook account with some details may cost a few dollars.
  • A more detailed Facebook account that has been verified may cost more like $10
  • An established Facebook account with followers and posts may cost more especially if registered as an American user.

The more subscribers an account has then the more valuable it can be.

Do not buy or sell any social media accounts. Whatever you want them for – there are probably better ways to get and use such accounts.

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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