Facebook scams have been in overdrive during COVID-19 lockdown.
Have you been spending more time at home than ever before? Many governments have requested or required citizens to shelter in place until the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic blows over. Since your favourite pizza place, salon or coffee shop is also closed. Maybe you’ve been thinking about working on the new you. You’re not alone, and the scammers and con artists know it. Facebook scams have not only surged but also adapted to the unique situation which has made them more useful than ever before.
Why it’s easy to become a victim of Facebook scams
Billions of people use Facebook every single day. It’s an advertising powerhouse which companies of all shapes and sizes use to promote their products. Last year, the social media giant earned approximately $70 billion, of which almost 99% of earnings came from ads.
Because of these overwhelming statistics, everyone trusts Facebook. Many of us expect the ads we see while browsing social media apps to be legit, as we presume they have been moderated. Sadly, it’s not the case, and humans do not review most ads. This gap between confident users and relaxed verification for ads presents an opportunity for con artists and scammers to rip off unsuspecting Facebook users.
The most common scams on Facebook
Because many of us using Facebook feel like we are in a safe place, it’s easy to be blindsided by con artists and fraudsters. Some of the most common scams on Facebook include;
- Romance Scams
- Impersonation Scams
- Investment Strategies
- Phishing Scams
Many tricksters are using Facebook to get access to unsuspecting marks around the world. In this article, we will explore some of the most common Facebook scams.
Romance Scams on Facebook
Romance Scammers will approach you out of the blue. They start the conversation by explaining how they are unlucky in love and that they are interested in you. The purpose of this is to tell why they are writing to you over Facebook, which may initially seem strange. Typically there is an obstacle why they can’t meet someone in person. Excuses include being in a bad marriage, in the military or working in a job that is isolated or requires frequent travel.
When you are convinced that the situation is absolutely rational, the conversation will progress for weeks or even months. This is a long con, and the romancer will take their time to gain your trust. When they think the time is right, there will be a situation where they need money. It could be for flights or visas to come and visit you or to solve a financial problem they are facing. The relationship will last for as long as you keep saying yes and sending money.
As soon as you either run out of cash or figure out that you are being played it might seem impossible to get your money back. Unfortunately, most of the personal information you’ve been given during the relationship is fake. While you might not be able to track down this con artist, there are digital security experts like Cybersphere Security. They specialize in tracking down Facebook romance scammers by using several digital detective tactics.
Facebook Messenger Scam
The Facebook Messenger scam highlighted some of the significant vulnerabilities of Facebook. It caused the company to develop dozens of sophisticated features. Despite Facebook removing billions of accounts every year, many make it through their defences and manage to scam many Facebook users.
The Facebook Messenger scam is one of many confidence tricks occurring on the platform, except this one includes an element of impersonation too. You will receive a message from what seems to be one of your friends, at least they will have the same name and profile picture. They will start by telling you about some good fortune they have recently found for themselves and start telling you about how you can get in on the action.
How successful the Facebook Messenger scam depends greatly on your relationship with the person and the context. While many people notice that something is strange, the sheer volume of attempts means some slip through the nets.
Credit Card Phishing Scams
During the COVID-19 lockdown, many people are using the extra time they have to either binge on Netflix, learn a new skill or master the financial markets. This is why you may have noticed an increase in online courses and digital services promoted on your Facebook newsfeed. These digital products are advertised as having massive discounts to make you feel that you’re getting a great deal.
- Learn to Code Course for just $44.99 (was $1995)
- The Secrets of Day Trading for $30 (was $2000)
- Millions of Stock Photos for only $25 (worth thousands)
While many of these courses are just a waste of money, there is something much more sinister lurking in the background. Some of these courses are phishing scams. Scammers are impersonating credible advertisers on Facebook; for example, news companies like the Financial Times and Bloomberg.
Fake accounts are using credible names to gain your confidence. Their objective is to get you to hand over your personal details and credit card information. This allows them to steal money from your credit or debit card.
While credit card issuers do offer some degree of protection, if you have given your debit card details, you might find your bank offers very little help to recover your stolen money. That is why you will need a specialist in criminal fraud investigation who can fight your case for you.
Have you been scammed on Facebook?
Facebook scams are prevalent and come in many forms. Tricksters have direct access to billions of unsuspecting marks. At Cybersphere Security, we specialize in recovering losses for clients who fall victim to all manner of scams.
However you have been deceived, our specialists will give you the attention that law enforcement won’t. We thoroughly investigate what happened and how it happened. Based on this, we will be able to propose a strategy for recovering your assets and seek justice to prevent this from happening to other people as well. We offer a free consultation for anyone seeking help to reclaim their assets.
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