As social media continues to gain prominence in South Africa it has also become a platform where fraudsters attempt to catch you off guard. This is how to protect yourself
Although social media scams in South Africa are not yet prevalent, compared to our global counterparts; the reality is that they do exist. Since the popularity of social media is set to remain for a very long time you have to constantly be aware of the latest methods that fraudsters use to get hold of your personal information. This is how they attempt:
Blackmail – never share personal photos or videos on social media that portray you in a compromising position as scammers can use these against you by threatening to send them to close family members or upload them on public platforms.
Phishing – beware of fraudsters pretending to represent your bank on social media platforms. Your bank will never ask for your credit or cheque card, account number, online banking login details or password or One Time PIN (OTP) on social media platforms.
Help and favours – be on high alert when asked for special financial favours or urgent assistance by strangers, no matter how caring or persistent the individuals may seem. Never share your banking details with strangers and always think twice before sending money to someone you recently met online or haven’t met in person yet.
Dating and romance scams – consumers who use social media platforms to meet companions or their life partners should look out for fraudsters that play on emotional triggers to scam you out of your hard-earned cash. Dating and romance scammers often lower your defences by appealing to your compassionate side in order to take advantage of you.
Identity theft – avoid sharing personal information, such as ID, passport, drivers license, payslip, bank statement, municipal or account statements on social media. Fraudsters can steal your information and use it illegally by impersonating you.
Money laundering – scammers often trick people through social media platforms by claiming to have large sums of cash that they need to deposit urgently through a foreign bank account. Do not allow your account to be used by another person to deposit or transact on. This can put you in serious trouble with authorities as allowing proceeds of crime to be laundered through your bank account, knowingly or unknowingly, is a criminal offense. Furthermore, never open a bank account in your name on behalf of a person you have met on social media platforms, irrespective of the circumstances.
Do you know other scams fraudsters use on social media?