Social media scams are unfortunately common. And Facebook scams are among the most problematic because of the sheer volume of people who use the platform. However, Facebook users can protect themselves by learning how to spot scams and avoid potentially problematic interactions. Here’s a guide to some common issues.
Common Facebook Scams Making Their Rounds Today
Online scammers attempt to target Facebook users in numerous ways. Some reach out on Facebook Messenger. Others create convincing posts that go out to multiple users. Here are several to look out for.
1. Fake Giveaways
Real giveaways are popular on Facebook, making this a particularly common scam. Scammers often use malicious software to collect personal information that people submit. Warning signs that a giveaway is a scam include requesting a credit card number or offering an unrealistic prize.
2. Phishing Scams on Facebook Messenger
Just as you can fall for a phishing scam via email, it’s possible to do the same in direct messages on Facebook Messenger. Often, the suspicious activity includes redirecting users to a new page that looks like the Facebook login page. But this fake page simply collects the person’s login info instead.
3. Romance Scams
Romance scams are a bit more involved. This Facebook scam usually starts with a friend request from an unknown individual. They may spend time messaging back and forth to build a relationship before requesting money for a specific purpose.
4. Fake Job Offers
Some scammers create fake brands and post job offers on Facebook to collect personal information like your Social Security number and address. Verifying the company and individual can help limit the risk.
5. Bogus Apps
Scammers often post scam ads on Facebook that promise great deals or coupons for downloading an app. However, these deals don’t really exist, and the links often include malware, so use caution before clicking anything that seems too good to be true.
6. Identity Theft
Identity theft on Facebook may include any scheme that collects personal information. Or some scammers copy Facebook accounts to connect with your friends in attempts to get their information as well.
7. Fraudulent Surveys
Market research companies often offer cash for those willing to take surveys. However, scammers also make this promise, but they may request extra information like bank account numbers.
8. Facebook Privacy Scam
Facebook privacy scams often involve accounts reaching out offering to protect your profile or claiming that you can simply post a status to secure your privacy rights on the platform.
9. Fake Charities
Fake charities may create an entire Facebook page to make their organization look legitimate. But then they collect money through online fundraisers and give none of it to charity.
8. Games & Quizzes
Games and quizzes can provide some fun. But they also can collect data used to steal your identity. Beware of any that ask you to enter information that may be used in security answers or passwords.
10. Fake Facebook Profile Scam
Scammers often clone Facebook accounts to gain trust from a person’s network. Beware if you get friend requests from those you’ve already connected with.
11. Fake Facebook Friend Request
Friend requests may also come from friends of friends. But scammers may have simply duped your other connections as well.
12. Malware Scam
Malware scams involve malicious software downloaded to devices via suspicious links. These links may come from scammers or even real friends who have been hacked or fallen for fake news scams.
13. Spyware Scam
Spyware is a specific type of malware that downloads a program that tracks your activity. Scammers can then use it to steal logins or access your banking information.
14. Shopping Scams
Shopping scams generally involve selling products on Facebook Marketplace or linking users to other sites. However, the store isn’t actually real and products are never shipped.
15. Fake Login Page
Fake login page scams occur when scammers share links that direct other users to a page that looks like the Facebook homepage. But when you enter your login information, they can then gain access to your account.
16. Fake Accounts
A cloned account may be used to steal money, social security number, or other personal information.
17. Instant Loans
Instant loans or any financial offer that seems too good to be true may be trying to steal your information or getting you to download malware.
18. Cryptocurrency Schemes
Cryptocurrency schemes also often include suspicious logins or require personal information that can be used against you.
19. Lottery Scams
Lottery scams generally require payment information or direct you to click on outside links that may be compromised accounts.
20. Secret Santa Scammers
Secret Santa exchanges are often fun in person. But online, you may simply be purchasing gifts or providing funds to scammers.
21. Impersonating Public Figures
Scammers create fake accounts impersonating celebrities or public figures, offering exclusive deals or personal interactions. They often ask for personal information or small payments as a gateway to larger fraud.
22. COVID-19 Related Scams
Exploiting the pandemic, scammers post false information about COVID-19 cures or protective equipment, leading to phishing sites or malware downloads. They may also solicit donations for fake COVID-19 relief funds.
23. Facebook Ad Scams
These scams use Facebook ads to lure users with attractive offers or products. Once clicked, they lead to fake websites designed to steal personal and financial information or infect devices with malware.
24. Compromised Account Messages
Scammers hack Facebook accounts and send messages to the account’s friends, claiming to be in distress and asking for immediate financial assistance.
25. Investment Scams
Offering too-good-to-be-true investment opportunities, these scams promise high returns for a small initial investment. They usually involve cryptocurrency or other digital investment platforms.
26. Fake Tech Support Scams
Scammers post as tech support agents offering to fix non-existent computer or account issues. They gain remote access to victims’ devices to steal sensitive information or install malware.
27. Loan Forgiveness Scams
Targeting students or graduates, these scams promise loan forgiveness or lower repayment rates. They ask for personal details or upfront fees to process the fake offers.
28. Ticket Scams
Fake event tickets for concerts, sports events, or festivals are sold on Facebook. Buyers pay for these non-existent or counterfeit tickets and receive nothing in return.
29. Facebook Page Hacking Scams
Scammers claim they can hack into someone’s Facebook page or retrieve a hacked account, asking for payment or personal information for this illegal service.
30. Pet Adoption Scams
These scams involve fake listings for pet adoptions, often using emotional appeals and images of cute animals. Victims pay for the pet, shipping, or vaccination costs, but the pet never arrives.
What are the Signs of Someone Scamming You?
Scams can come in many different forms. However, they generally involve someone sharing a link or financial offer that seems out of place or too good to be true. You may also spot scams by noticing duplicate Facebook accounts or requests from people you don’t know.
How Facebook Users Can Avoid being Victims of Scams
Facebook users can fall for scams on pages, Facebook Marketplace, or even Messenger. Common sense may help you identify some. But here are a few tips to keep you and your data safe:
- Create strong login credentials: To avoid having your account stolen, create a strong Facebook login. And don’t use the same password as you do on other accounts. You can also enable two-factor authentication via the authenticator app.
- Avoid clicking links from untrusted sources: Links that direct you away from Facebook could include malware or intend to steal your login history.
- Deny suspicious friend requests: Requests from people you don’t know, or from a real friend you’ve already connected with, could be scammers in disguise.
- Don’t send money or goods to anyone: The goal of many scams is to collect money in some way. Avoid sending any funds online or mailing gift cards or other items to people you don’t know.
- Look for verified Facebook credentials: If you’re applying for a job or interacting with a business page, make sure it’s verified.
|Tips to Avoid Scams on Facebook
|Strong Login Credentials
|Create a robust, unique Facebook password to prevent unauthorized access. Enable two-factor auth.
|Avoid Untrusted Links
|Refrain from clicking links leading away from Facebook to avoid potential malware or data theft.
|Deny Suspicious Friend Requests
|Be cautious of friend requests from unknown individuals or even existing friends with compromised accounts.
|Avoid Sending Money or Goods
|Protect yourself from scams by refraining from sending funds or items to unfamiliar individuals.
|Verify Facebook Credentials
|Interact with verified pages or profiles when dealing with job offers or businesses to avoid scams.
Identifying and Avoiding Common Facebook Scams
Social media scams, particularly on Facebook, are prevalent due to the platform’s wide user base. Protecting oneself from scams requires understanding their tactics and knowing how to avoid potentially harmful interactions. Here’s an overview of common Facebook scams and tips to stay safe in 2022.
Common Facebook Scams to Watch Out For
Scammers employ various tactics to target Facebook users, including fake giveaways, phishing via Messenger, romance scams, fake job offers, bogus apps, identity theft, fraudulent surveys, privacy scams, fake charities, games and quizzes, fake profiles, malware and spyware scams, shopping scams, fake login pages, instant loans, cryptocurrency schemes, lottery scams, Secret Santa scams, and more.
Signs of Being Scammed
Scammers often share links or offers that seem too good to be true, request personal or financial information, create duplicate accounts, or send unsolicited friend requests from unknown individuals.
Tips to Avoid Scams on Facebook
- Strong Login Credentials: Use a robust password unique to Facebook and enable two-factor authentication.
- Avoid Suspicious Links: Refrain from clicking on links from untrusted sources that may lead to malware or unauthorized access.
- Decline Suspicious Friend Requests: Don’t accept requests from unfamiliar users or existing friends whose accounts might be compromised.
- Exercise Caution with Money Transactions: Avoid sending money or goods to unknown individuals, as scammers often aim to collect funds.
- Verify Credentials: Interact with verified pages or profiles when dealing with job offers or businesses.
Reporting Scams to Facebook
To report a scamming account, visit the profile or page and click the three-dot button. Select “find support or report profile” and follow the prompts to file a report with Facebook.
By staying vigilant, recognizing scam indicators, and following these guidelines, Facebook users can protect themselves from falling victim to scams and maintain a safer online experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are Facebook scams a common concern?
Facebook scams are prevalent due to the platform’s massive user base. Scammers exploit this volume to target unsuspecting users and attempt to deceive them in various ways.
What types of Facebook scams should I watch out for?
Scammers employ multiple tactics, including fake giveaways, phishing via Messenger, romance scams, fake job offers, bogus apps, identity theft schemes, fraudulent surveys, privacy scams, fake charities, games and quizzes, fake profiles, malware and spyware scams, shopping scams, fake login pages, instant loans, cryptocurrency schemes, lottery scams, Secret Santa scams, and more.
How can I identify potential scams?
Look out for warning signs such as unrealistic offers, requests for personal or financial information, duplicate Facebook accounts, unsolicited friend requests from unknown users, and deals that seem too good to be true.
What can I do to avoid falling victim to Facebook scams?
Here are some tips to safeguard yourself:
- Strong Login Credentials: Create a strong, unique password for your Facebook account and consider enabling two-factor authentication.
- Avoid Suspicious Links: Refrain from clicking links from untrusted sources, as they might lead to malware or unauthorized access.
- Decline Suspicious Friend Requests: Be cautious of friend requests from unfamiliar users or even existing friends with compromised accounts.
- Exercise Caution with Money Transactions: Never send money or goods to individuals you don’t know, as scammers often aim to collect funds.
- Verify Credentials: Interact with verified pages or profiles, especially when dealing with job offers or businesses.
How can I report a scam on Facebook?
To report a suspicious account, visit the profile or page and click the three-dot button. Select “find support or report profile” and follow the prompts to report the account to Facebook.
By staying informed, practicing caution, and following these guidelines, you can significantly reduce your risk of falling victim to Facebook scams and ensure a safer online experience.
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