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Navigating the Web: Recognizing and Avoiding Social Media Scams


The advent of social media has revolutionized the way we connect with others, share experiences, and gather information. However, it has also created a playground for cybercriminals. The AARP reports that the number of seniors targeted by social media scams has risen significantly in recent years. As a result, it's crucial for us to understand how to recognize and avoid these pitfalls.


Understanding Social Media Scams


Social media scams are deceptive practices that trick people into giving away their money or personal information through platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Scammers often masquerade as someone else to gain your trust. These scams come in various forms, including romance scams where a scammer pretends to be a potential romantic partner, fake charity scams that exploit your generosity, and quiz scams that gather your information under the guise of harmless fun.


Spotting a Social Media Scam


Social media scams can be hard to spot, but here are some telltale signs:

  • Suspicious Friend Requests: Be wary of friend requests from people you don't know or duplicate requests from existing friends.

  • Too Good to Be True Offers: Beware of posts or ads promising fantastic deals or large amounts of money.

  • Requests for Personal Information: Legitimate organizations will never ask for your sensitive information via social media.

Preventing Social Media Scams


Here's how you can protect yourself:

  • Adjust Your Privacy Settings: Make sure only friends can see your posts and personal information.

  • Verify Friend Requests: If you receive a friend request from someone you know but are already friends with, contact them outside of the platform to verify.

  • Be Careful What You Share: Avoid sharing too much personal information, as scammers can use it to their advantage. Especially your phone number.

What to Do If You've Been Scammed


If you've fallen victim to a social media scam:

  • Report to the Social Media Platform: Most platforms have a method for reporting scams, which can help prevent others from falling victim.

  • Contact Local Authorities: They can provide guidance on the next steps.

  • Change Your Passwords: To prevent further access to your accounts.

Navigating social media safely involves being aware of potential scams, staying vigilant, and always verifying the information. As we connect and share online, let's ensure we're doing it safely.


If you would like to call us and talk more about your online security, we are happy to help. All you have to do is ask.






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