Don’t get caught by social media scams

MALALANE – Many Onderbergers use social media to conduct business and share news, unaware that fraudsters are also active on the platform.

Kovelin Naidoo, chief cyber security officer at FNB, says social media scams do exist even though they’re not as widely known in South Africa as they are overseas.

READ MORE: Criminals target unemployed locals with job scams

Naidoo encouraged consumers to constantly educate themselves and their families about the latest methods fraudsters use to get their victims’ personal information.

Here are a few examples:

Blackmail

Never share personal photos or videos of yourself in a compromising position on social media. Scammers can use it against you by threatening to upload them to public platforms or close family members.

Phishing

Fraudsters can pretend to be your bank on social media to get sensitive details from you. Remember that your bank will never ask for your credit or cheque card account number, online banking login details or passwords via email or social media.

READ MORE: Be wary of clever financial scams

Help and favours

Take extra care when strangers approach you for special financial favours or urgent assistance. No matter how caring they sound or persistent they are, never share your banking details with strangers. Consider carefully before you send money to someone you met online or have not met in person yet.

Dating and romance scams

Be wary of strangers befriending you on social media, especially if you are on these platforms looking for love. Scammers make friends or form a romantic relationship with their victim, then convince them to give them money or buy them goods before disappearing.

Identity theft

Most social networks warn you against sharing personal information such as your ID, passport, payslips or account statements on social media. Scammers can use this information to impersonate you and leave you with a lot of debt.

Money laundering

Most people have gotten an SMS, message or email claiming that the sender has a large amount of money they urgently need to deposit into a foreign bank account. Never let anyone use your account for transactions. Criminals use other people’s accounts to launder proceeds of their crimes. This is a criminal offence and the account holders will be arrested, whether they knew what was happening or not. You should also never open a bank account in your name on behalf of a person you have met on social media, no matter their circumstances.

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Naidoo concluded by saying, “When all safety precautions are taken into account, social media remains one of the best platforms that consumers can use to keep up to date with the latest news and trends, interact and catch up with friends and family.”

  AUTHOR
Corridor Gazette

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