Trick or Treat? Spot the scary social media scams

Better Business Bureau warns networkers to protect themselves online.

With more than 16 million users in Canada, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are unquestionably popular, but the Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns that users may be the target of social media scammers.

“Many people view their online personas as separate from their real-life ones, and don’t take the same precautions to protect their identities, their computers, or their money,” says Lynda Pasacreta, BBB president and CEO. “Scam artists are savvy to consumers who click first and ask questions later.”

BBB warns social media users to be on the lookout for these five common social networking scams:

Fake Friends

Not all friend requests come from real friends – or real people for that matter. Some Facebook accounts exist solely to cast a wide net for spamming or extracting personal data from users. Only accept friend requests from people you know.

Questionable Quizzes

Clicking on an ad or a link that takes you to a questionnaire on a website outside Facebook can lead to unwanted results. In many cases, the quiz may ask you to enter your cellphone number before you can view your results. If the scammers get your number, you could find yourself subscribed to unwanted and expensive text messaging services.

Terrible Tweets

Direct messages may appeal to your vanity with a message that suggests you can be seen in a compromising or flattering way at a certain website. The link to the website actually prompts you to unwittingly download malware to your computer.

Grim Gifts

Clickjackers on Facebook entice you to copy-and-paste text into your browser bar by posting tempting offers, leading users to inadvertently download malicious code. Clickjackers then take control of your account, spamming your friends and further spreading their scam. Be suspicious of any too-good-to-be-true offers, such as free coffee or pizza from well known retailers.

Viral Videos

Videos with sensational headlines get users to visit an outside website and download malware in the disguise of a video player. If you click on the video, you will be prompted to “upgrade your Flash player now” and will then be asked to download a file which contains a ‘worm’. If you download and install the file, your computer will automatically log in to Facebook and send similar messages to your friends. Never download a file after clicking on a link.

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey’s Boze Corn Maze set to open with one big ‘50’ in the design

This year’s maze has some ‘social-distancing bubbles’ built into it, says farmer Mike Bose

Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society doing ‘better than we were expecting’ amid COVID-19

At one point, the board thought it might have a donation shortfall of $250,000

Delta police investigating shots fired in Tsawwassen

No injuries reported after police called to Parkrove Crescent Sunday afternoon (Aug. 9)

South Surrey teen launches non-profit to open opportunities for debate

Lucinda Gullison says the art of debate has many benefits

South Surrey boy’s lemonade stand raises $670 for baby Lucy on BC Day weekend

Zach Young, 6, wanted to help with purchase of Vancouver infant’s costly drug ‘to help her get better’

Canada to match donations to Lebanon relief

Canada is directing all of its aid for this crisis directly to humanitarian organizations, not the Lebanese government

Who can dismiss the Governor General? A look at protocols and possibilities

The Governor General is appointed by the Queen, on the advice of the prime minister

Second phase of NHL draft lottery set for Monday

Each club eliminated from qualifying round has a 12.5 per cent shot at the No. 1 pick

University of Victoria, rowing coach sued over alleged ‘fat shaming’ and verbal abuse

Lawsuit says Barney Williams subjected coxswain Lily Copeland to offensive and belittling language

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Fraser Valley Bandits fall to Edmonton in CEBL final

Bandits lose 90-73 to Stingers in Sunday’s Summer Series final

1 year since a B.C. teen died in a skate park, his family still waiting for charges

Carson Crimeni’s final moments were broadcast on social media

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Most Read