As we all embrace the internet and social media, there are people out there looking to take advantage of the naive and honest folks like us out there. So as you use Facebook, Twitter, and the other social media outlets, please keep the following warnings in mind...
Here is a link to Five Social Media Scams put out by Club Norton Internet Security. These scams include:
- Chain Letters (for scammers to gain access to legitimate "friends"; you will have better luck just deleting them)
- Urgent Requests for Money (if any of your friends are stuck in Europe with no money, let them figure it out)
- Hidden Charges (test your IQ and see how dumb you feel when you get a $10 monthly service bill)
- Phishing Requests (login in here to see crazy pictures of you, problem is it is a fake site that looks like the real one) The same hold true for comments on your wall post. Always go into Facebook and Twitter on your own, not through any email links.
- Hidden URL's (shortened URL's especially on Twitter can link to spyware that will infiltrate your computer)
Not to be outdone, the Federal Department of Business and Industry put out their own list of Social Media Scams. In addition to the scams listed above, there are a few other nasty con jobs out there:
- Click here for "Secret" celebrity news and video (problem is it will ask you to update your Adobe Flash and then quick as a Flash - You're infected).
- Join this Facebook group (if you don't know the originator, the group can install new toolbars or other malware on your computer - talk about hazing!)
- Tweet for $$$ (but you will need to buy the Tweet for Cash Starter Kit or some other such nonsense and there in lies the problem)
- Adult-Content Site Lures (just cause someone says you are cute, doesn't mean you should click on any links to chat with them)
- False Amber Alerts (why anyone would want to dilute the effectiveness of such a system, we don't know, but that is exactly what is happening - don't repost Amber Alerts unless you verify them at fbi.gov)
We would like to add a few precautions of our own:
- Try not to say what you are doing AHEAD of time; give the replay AFTERWARD. Admittedly, privacy is weak on the social networking sites like Facebook. So it really is best not to announce a week long vacation in the Caribbean. This could leave your home vulnerable to thieves. On any given day, don't give a play by play of your whereabouts - this is for YOUR protection.
- Don't use the same password for any social media sites that you use for online access to bank accounts, credit card accounts, investment accounts, etc. The phishing requests mentioned above can cause others to learn your passwords.
- Many secure sites now use questions to verify it is you, such as what city where you born in? What is the name of your pet? Don't let the answers to any security questions be found on your Facebook page, etc. Select questions that no one can easily find the answer to.
- Any information that you deem private, keep it off of the internet. Period.
Be careful out there!
Contact Scott Loper, Associate Broker, Realtor®, RE/MAX Realty Group at 215-513-1333 for help buying or selling a home in Lansdale, Harleysville, Hatfield, Souderton, Skippack, Collegeville, North Wales and the surrounding areas of Montgomery County Pennsylvania. To Search for Homes For Sale in Montgomery County Click Here.
Social Media Scams Copyright © 2010, The Scott Loper Team, All rights reserved.