According to the Federal Trade Commission, social media websites and apps have become magnets for scammers, especially during the pandemic. Losses to social media fraud reached $117 million just in the first 6 months of 2020 in comparison to a reported loss of $134 million in 2019. The Karlton Govan Lending Team is dedicated to helping you maintain your financial security.
To avoid falling victim to social media scams, here’s what you should be aware of…
Giveaways. Scammers will often pose as people seeking to give to those in need of money when in fact, they are after your money, information or both.
Multi-level marketing (MLM) companies and pyramid schemes like “blessing circles.” Most of these schemes entice people by promising money, which is always a red flag. While most people join with little to no money, some people invest hundreds to thousands of dollars only to lose it.
Ads. Many of the people who have fallen victim to social media fraud blamed purchasing items that they found via Facebook and Instagram ads. Tip: before buying from an ad, type the company’s name into a search engine, include keywords like “scam” and see what you come up with.
Now that you know what to look for, here’s how to protect your information…
Do not give out your banking information. Doing this is one of the easiest ways for card cracking scams on social media to succeed.
Never transfer funds to a third-party. These third parties include, but are not limited to Zelle, Cash App or Western Union. Note: you are likely dealing with a scam whenever you’re asked to send money before receiving money.
Contact your financial institution immediately if you see suspicious activity on your account. You can protect yourself from being liable for credit or debit card charges by reporting this information sooner rather than later.
Change your passwords frequently. Social media websites and apps store and provide access to sensitive data. The Better Business Bureau recommends changing your passwords every 30, 60 or 90 days to limit the risk of fraud.
Now that you know what to look for and how to protect your information, you are one step closer to achieving and maintaining financial security during these times to secure the best home loan for you. Take a look at our previous blog on Building Good Credit to learn more about maintaining a good credit rating.