Beware this social media scam 23



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Scamwatch has issued a warning to consumers to beware of the latest string of scams using popular social media platforms.

Scammers have been sending messages through platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Reddit telling recipients they have won a lottery, draw or competition.

They will often pretend they are affiliated with the social networking platform or another reputable company to make it seem legitimate.

The scammer will then request personal information to confirm your identity as the winner and then claim that, in order to receive the ‘win’, you first need to transfer them money for taxes, fees or other reasons.

It’s the same old trick on a new platform, but Scamwatch advises that the dodgy people have a few new tactics to trick people into thinking they’re winners.

For one, they are using accounts they have hacked to make the ruse seem legitimate to their family and friends – in other words, it looks like the message is coming from a profile you know and trust.

The scammer will claim the hacked victim was lucky enough to win a prize or money simply by being their friend. They will then provide instructions on how to claim the win, usually beginning with moving the conversation away from the hacked account to another one controlled by the scammer. The scam will then continue as normal, requesting personal information and money.

Alternatively, you might receive a short message congratulating you ton being a winner of a lottery or competition, with a link to claim their prize. If you click on this link, your social networking profile and your device’s security may be compromised by malware that could lead to scammers hacking your account or stealing your personal information.

If you receive a message on a social networking platform, such as Facebook, claiming you have won a lottery or competition, ignore it – don’t respond, report the post, and warn your friends and family. In these lotteries or competitions, the only winner is the scammer.

To protect yourself:

  • Be very wary of any social networking messages out of the blue that claim you have won a lottery or competition, even if they appear to come from someone that you know.
  • Tell your friends or acquaintances if you get a dodgy-looking message from their account.
  • Don’t accept ‘friend’ requests from people you don’t know – scammers love to pose as friends to learn all about you.
  • Don’t be fooled – scammers will pretend to be a well-known and trusted business, such as the social networking platform, to get under your radar.
  • Never send any money via wire transfer to anyone you do not know or trust.
  • If you think your computer’s security has been compromised, use your security software to run a virus check. If you still have doubts, contact your anti-virus software provider or a computer specialist.
  • Remember: you cannot win money in a lottery or competition unless you entered it in the first place. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

You can report scams to the ACCC via the SCAMwatch “report a scam” page or by calling 1300 795 995.

Report scam posts to the social networking platform that it appeared on, and help to spread the word by alerting family and friends.

Have you seen anything like this on your social media travels? We know you wouldn’t fall for it, but make sure your network knows what to look out for!

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Why are people so gullible? This has been happening for years and people have been warned for years, WAKE UP PEOPLE yes it can happen to YOU.

  2. Free Microsoft 10 is another

    2 REPLY
    • there are big problems with windows 10, when it downloads your computer keep rebooting, you can’t get back into windows..I am avoiding it

    • It is also only free for like for like, there is no upgrade pathway from 32bit to 64bit without paying for it. Even though 32bit is virtually obsolete technology and has not been used in new machines over a year now.

  3. I sometimes think I must be the luckiest person in the world. There are millions of $$ in some account waiting for me. I have been selected to be in the last 3 in numerous lottos, have been the millionth person to open a page so I’ve won an expense gift!!! My answer!! BULLSHIT!! All I have to do to receive all this is to have over my banking details! As my darling mum would have said, DO I LOOK LIKE I CAME DOWN IN THE LAST SHOWER!!!

  4. We are up with our family at present & we’re discussing these sort of scams with our grandchildren over dinner the other night. Will share.

  5. I got caught on this one. I thought I was talking to a friend in New Zealand. Lost my Facebook account, and had my account hacked too. I managed to save my bank account after changing cards and passwords etc., but had to have new Facebook account with new email address. Very nasty business. It was my own fault as I didn’t double check that it was not my friend, I was convinced by the conversation in messages. It is very easy to fall for this. At the time I was out to help someone else, not myself, and it backfired. I am still paying for this mistake, but am extra cautious on line now. By the way. I did not give many personal details, they had already hacked my Facebook changed my email address and my password, and by the time another friend informed me I had been hacked, I couldn’t get into my own account.

  6. Almost daily, we received scam emails promising heaps of money by clicking on the links attached to their emails, which we never did because it’s too good to be true. These scammers are feeding on gullible people and some are curious but as soon as they click on the links they have let the scammers in! Some of these scammers are pretty good and look like genuine Banks with logos etc but we never click on the email links. Some even threaten to block our accounts if we don’t click on the links. In this case, we call our banks and they always confirm they never sent such emails. We do Internet Bankings by logging on the website itself and NEVER click on the email links or attachments no matter how genuine they look! Always delete these emails and also delete from deleted box. We also avoid FREE offers of uploads on our mobile phone or Android and Facebook.

  7. I do not believe I am a gullible person yet I was caught by a scam that purported to be holding a registered parcel for me with a link to click on to claim it. As I was expecting an important parcel from England and the link was a UK site I followed it and my computer was taken over by a malicious program for distributing malware via my connection. My ISP picked up the excess email traffic and cancelled that particular service so I had to get another link and redirect all my legitimate email traffic through that. Lesson is do not follow emailed links regardless of how legitimate they appear.

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