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

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

33-storey highrise proposal coming to Surrey council, first of three phases

Second and third phases include 36-storey and 31-storey towers

Surrey city council moving to virtual meetings

For public hearings, people can register to speak via telephone

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and beyond

APRIL 4: Two people in Delta fined for trying to re-sell N95 masks

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Researchers look at humidity as a weapon in the fight against airborne viruses

Regular hand washing, physical distancing and PPE for health care workers remains best line of defense

Exercises move online with YMCA’s new nationwide virtual workout program

YThrive Home offers dozens of free workout videos for people during COVID-19 self-isolation period

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at Mission Institution; two other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, says correctional officer

B.C. community service provider hosts friendly art competition for youth

Theme for Pacific Community Resources contest is ‘finding the silver lining in difficult times’

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

TransLink to reduce service on some bus routes, SeaBus, West Coast Express

Changes start April 6 ‘due to low ridership and financial pressures’ amid COVID-19

Most Read