Over the last few years, the number of social media scams has grown significantly. There are several types of scams to look out for. Here’s how it happens, and how to protect yourself!
The most common scenarios:
- The most common type of social media scam involves online sellers who never deliver the goods. This type of ploy made up more than one-quarter all reported social media scams in the first half of 2020.
- In another scenario, the scam may involve fake offers and promotions. You might click on a job offer, an incredible prize you have supposedly won, or a get-rich-quick scheme. All you need to do to get your hands on what is being offered is to share your personal information.
- Many people also reported social media messages that pretended to offer grants and other financial relief because of the pandemic. This was actually a ploy to get money, access personal information, or both.
Watch for these red flags:
- The online seller does not have a physical address or phone number.
- The social media poster is offering a deal, prize, job or scheme that sounds too good to be true.
- You’re asked to make an upfront payment for a job, prize or loan application.
- A reputable company uses a generic account, such as Yahoo or Gmail, to contact you.
- You’re urged to act immediately or risk losing out on the job, prize or loan.
- You are asked to share sensitive information before you’ve actually applied for anything.
- A new social media “friend” keeps asking you random questions.
Preventing social media scams:
- Beware of/make sure not to connect with fake social media profiles.
- Think before you click. Ignore anything that sounds overly intrusive.
- Never share personal information online with someone you don’t know.
- Look for a publicly listed street address and phone number that corresponds with the name of any alleged “company” that has contacted you.
- Never agree to pay for a product or service upfront without being certain of its legitimacy.
- Check your social media privacy settings on a regular basis.
- Never post anything that can be used to steal your identity.
What you should do:
- Block the scammer: Before anything else, you’ll want to block the scammer from accessing your computer again. Log off your device and immediately change your passwords, using a different computer or mobile device.
- Contact the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Transunion and Experian, to let them know your identity has been compromised. This will prevent or delay any loans or lines of credit the scammer tries to take out in your name.
- Let us know: Here at SeaComm, we want to do our part in stopping scammers in their tracks. Call us at (800) 764-0566 to alert us about the scam, so we can block suspicious charges to your account.
- Alert the Federal Trade Commission (FTC): If you have been targeted by a scam, make sure to tell them about it so they can do whatever they can to catch the scammers.
- Stay informed with SeaComm’s Fraud Center: As your credit union, we want to keep you and your finances safe. That’s why we’ve introduced our Fraud Center, which includes valuable resources to help educate and empower our members to protect their assets and identities. Click here to get started.
Be sure to utilize your Benefits Plus® membership as a way to protect yourself from fraudulent activity! Once you’ve upgraded your basic checking account to a Benefits Plus® checking with SeaComm, you will gain access to a variety of identity theft protection services including fraud alerts, identity theft alerts, and more. If your identity has been compromised, a Benefits Plus® representative will assist in filing police reports and contacting all credit bureaus, as well as utility companies on your behalf. Stop by your local SeaComm branch to upgrade your checking account.
For complete information, terms, conditions and exclusions please visit www.benefits-plus.org or call 866-329-7587.