Back in 2005, just 5% of Americans were on social media. Since then, things have exploded. Today, more than 72% of U.S. adults frequent Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others, according to the Pew Research Center. However, fake social media accounts and related scams have also flourished. Here's how to protect yourself from social media scams and fraud.
Double-check Your Friends and Connections
Have you ever received a friend request from someone that already friended you? That could have been a scam.
Criminals will try to "friend" you with a bogus profile or clone the profile of someone you already know. If you accept the request, they will try to gather personal information via chat. The more you share, the more you could jeopardize your security questions and personal passwords.
Beware of Fake Offers and Promotions
You know the drill. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you receive a request for personal information in exchange for an item, run the other way. These are likely scams designed to capture your personal data.
Look Out for Loan Offers
Some fraudsters are sophisticated enough to impersonate a financial institution, including One Nevada Credit Union. They might offer incredible loan rates, but they'll also ask for your account number and other financial information to complete the loan. Don't give it to them. If they really were your financial institution, they would already have that information.
One Nevada does not partner with any organizations or social media platforms to request your personal financial information, nor would we ask for it through social media or a third party. If you're unsure if you're communicating with us directly, please call us directly at 800-388-3000 to verify.
Watch for These Red Flags
- The posted offer sounds too good to be true.
- You're asked to make an upfront payment for a loan application.
- You're urged to act immediately.
- The scammer claims to represent One Nevada Credit Union but does not want you to call to verify their authenticity.
- You're asked to share sensitive information.
- A social media "friend" asks random questions.
Be Safe Online
- Think before you click.
- Ignore anything suspicious or intrusive.
- Double-check lenders with the Better Business Bureau.
- Never share personal information online.
- Look for publicly listed phone numbers to verify company authenticity.
- Never agree to pay for a product upfront without being certain of its legitimacy.
- Check your social media privacy settings.
- Never post anything that can be used to steal your identity.
One Nevada is Here for You
If you suspect you've fallen victim to a social media scam, shut down your computer, smartphone or tablet. Then use another device to update your passwords. Could the scam or fraud involve your accounts, debit or credit cards? Contact us right away, and we'll do what we can to help, including blocking your cards and limiting new access to your accounts. You'll also want to contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).