Social media scams to watch out for

Social media scams are here for the long run, and the damage is immense. Americans lost $2.7 billion combined to scams originating on social media from January 2021 to June 2023, says a report from the Federal Trade Commission. That’s $700 million more than website scams and $1.8 billion more than email scams during the same period, the FTC says.

The methods used by scammers on social media platforms may take you by surprise. They come in the form of romance scams to merchant imposters, and can even take over your identity to scam your friends and family out of money. Online shopping scams account for the most common social media scam of 2023 according to the FTC.

It’s important to remain vigilant with any monetary exchange on social media, or just avoid financial transactions via social media altogether. In most cases, scammers advertise products for sale, and when you make the purchase, whether it be directly through the social media platform or after following a link to a bogus website, the items never arrive.

Always stay savvy on social media. Before leaving the couch to find your wallet, make sure the brand is legitimate, and, if so, determine that the social media profile is the original and has not been impersonated by fraudsters. As for all online transactions, it’s always best to use a credit card rather than a debit card. Credit cards provide increased security for online shopping compared to debit cards and can offer more consumer protection through fraud protection services.

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