Scams that target social media users nearly doubled in 2013 when compared to its rate in 2012. This is according to Bitdefender, which conducted a study about the presence of such anomalies online. The security vendor thinks the rise in such incidences was just in line with expectations that scammers across the social media would double their profits especially during the holidays.
The company has further warned social media users against clicking on free voucher tabs and completing endless ‘intelligence’ surveys, which ask about credentials and other personal data, including your mother’s maiden name (which is usually asked when filling out credit card purchases). Bitdefender reiterated that once the scammers get the data they need, nothing can stop them from using your personal details for their unscrupulous operations.
Numerous voucher and online poll scams
In a blog post, Bitdefender revealed that over 10,000 free voucher scams are already flooding social media users’ timelines these days. For the time being, at least 139 scams are identified to involve charity and donations. This should be alarming enough as it may raise the possibility that more unsuspecting online users could be victimized.
The company noted that around 440 social media scams are stalker anomalies, including those traps like ‘guess who viewed your profile,’ which easily deceives numerous Facebook users. According to the experts, social media users should not easily trust promises of new features that were not previously announced by the Websites.
Scammers focus on Facebook users
It seems that Facebook users are more vulnerable to such scams. This could be because most of the scam campaigns are targeted at them. Users of the social networking site are exposed to more than 10,000 free voucher scams that commit gifts for their loved ones. Those mostly deliver fraudulent polls that are carefully designed to obtain users’ financial details without them knowing it.
Within the Website, charity scams also rose 10% in 2013. This is another easy trap designed by scammers. The campaigns look persuasive enough to convince unsuspecting and generous users to donate money online. Interestingly, cyber-criminals use heart-wrenching images grabbed somewhere online to appeal to the public.
In the end, Bitdefender continues to advise all social media users against falling victims to online scams. It asks everyone to think twice prior to clicking any dubious Christmas message, online polls, and appeals to donate money to unknown charities.
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