Fraud Watch Warns Consumers of Social Media Scams
With scams and fraud schemes proliferating on social media, the AARP Fraud Watch Network has launched a campaign to educate Americans about social media hazards and provide information about how they can protect themselves. “Scammers have been using email and telephone calls to target unsuspecting victims for years. Now, with today’s boom in social media use, the con artists are just as likely to use Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms to execute their insidious scams to steal people’s money and identities,” said AARP Fraud Watch Network ambassador Frank Abagnale. According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 70 percent of Americans regularly use social media.
The Fraud Watch Network warns consumers about specific social media scams, such as the coupon scam and the genealogy scam, where fraudsters distribute advertisements featuring too-good-to-be-true deals on hot items – the real goal is to charge your credit card for phony goods or products you never receive, or collect your personal information for identity theft.
Abagnale provides the following tips to avoid identity theft via social media: Never post personal information, including your Social Security number – not even the last four digits – birthday, place of birth, home address, phone numbers or personal account information. Avoid posting a front-facing picture of your full face on social media sites; acon artist can copy the image and use it to create a photo ID to steal your identity. Set the privacy options for each of your social media accounts to restrict your information so it can only be viewed by people you select. Check your privacy settings regularly. Don’t log in to your social media accounts via a public wireless network, where scammers can lurk.
Abagnale has been associated with the FBI for more than four decades, and has advised and consulted with hundreds of financial institutions, corporations and government agencies around the world. His story was told in his best-selling book, ‘Catch Me if You Can’ and the 2002 movie of the same name starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.
The AARP Fraud Watch Network was launched in 2013 as a free resource for people of all ages. Visit aarp.org or call 877-908-3360 learn more.