Social networks have rapidly become one of the most lucrative sources of income for fraudsters. Anion Schmidt, Luminor’s fraud prevention specialist, talks about what types of fraud are currently prevalent on social networking platforms and shares tips on how to avoid them.
Because social networks make it easy to create a false profile and target the right audience, according to age, income level, purchase or view history, last year social networks became one of the most lucrative platforms for fraudsters to target their victims. Observations show that people aged 18-39, the most active internet users, are most often deceived. Victims of financial fraud “catch” supposedly innocent advertisements, recordings or receive letters urging them to act.
Fraudsters are active on Facebook and Instagram, where they implement various trading schemes, as well as cheat by building seemingly romantic relationships, especially on the Tinder platform.
Facebook fraudsters make extensive use of marketing groups where they can sell and buy a variety of household items. Fraudsters place the product at a low price, receive money for it, but do not send the product. Also, bona fide sellers of goods may encounter counterfeit buyers who offer to purchase the goods through courier services (DHL, Omniva, etc.). Fraudsters encourage sellers to open fake links with the above-mentioned company symbols and enter their payment card details there, then fraudulently withdrawing money from their account.
Instagram is also one of the most popular trading schemes. Fraudsters create fake Instagram stores: post beautiful product pictures, buy fake followers, and offer a “special” promotion. The most careless users count money or otherwise enter and pass on their data to fraudsters, who already allow them to access the victim’s bank accounts and withdraw money.
Another very popular fraudulent activity on both Instagram and Facebook is sharing specific records about promotions or winnings. Fraudsters imitate lottery accounts and send false winnings. The message contains a link where you must enter your personal details to “win”. After entering the data, the victim’s funds are deceived.
The number of frauds, having previously established a romantic relationship with the victim, has also increased significantly. In this case, most often, Facebook, Instagram, and Tinder users receive a friend request from a stranger. As communication develops, it all ends with a request to transfer money for some urgent and urgent needs. In this case, women are more likely to be victims.
The TikTok platform, which is popular with young people, has also identified fraudulent schemes that are gaining momentum. For many, TikTok is also a source of profit – if your account is popular, you can receive promotional offers, pay-per-view, and other tangible benefits. Fake TikTok account enhancers offer users a larger audience. As soon as the victim has transferred the money, the fraudster disappears and the service is not provided.
Shadowban, on the other hand, has a TikTok system that restricts an account in cases where the account has unwanted content or a bad reputation. Fraudsters often claim that a bad owner has placed a Shadowban on an account holder with few followers, which prevents them from receiving views and followers by offering to remove it for a fee through a special program. As soon as the money is transferred, the fraudster disappears without service.
What to do to detect a fraud attempt?
According to a Luminor expert, an attempt to defraud is easier to detect if it is discussed and discussed with relatives or friends before any further action is taken – any consultation with trusted people can help protect your finances from falling into the hands of fraudsters in a timely manner.
The decision to make more expensive purchases should never be rushed, especially if the ad calls for immediate action. It is advisable not to rely on the momentum of the moment and to think twice about the offer in order to avoid the possibility of getting into the nails of fraudsters.
To avoid fraud, Anrijs Schmitt recommends using the opportunities provided by social networks, for example, to limit the number of people who can see the posts made on social media and to opt out of advertising at all, if such an opportunity is offered. “Even if a request to transfer money on social networks is received from a known person, you must verify the accuracy of the information before making the transfer, for example by calling, because a friend’s social network account may be hacked or forged. , checking the existence of registration data, address and telephone number, “says the bank ‘s expert.