Avoid Financial Fraud on Social Media
Posted on March 13, 2019
Topic Categories: Consumer Help
By Joy Doggett — Vice President of Information Systems
Thanks to enhanced security and greater awareness, financial institutions like Cinfed have had some success in preventing identity fraud and theft. As a result, scammers are finding new ways to deceive consumers: by contacting them directly through social media.
A current scam uses Facebook. The criminal hacks a person’s Facebook page and contacts that person’s friends with a promise to “get some fast cash.” Posing as the friend, the scammer says he doesn’t need a bank account number – just a user ID and password. When it’s provided, the scammer can access the individual’s accounts, see balances and make transfers so it seems like a deposit has been made. The scammer then has the individual withdraw cash and send it via FedEx, letting the victim “keep” some for helping out.
Have your guard up.
Though it seems like an obvious set-up, consider that these victims think they’re working with a friend. People tend to share more personal information on social media and may not have their guard up against scammers.
A few tips to avoid becoming a victim of social media scams:
- Be suspicious of anyone – even friends – who contact you asking for money or offering “fast cash.” These messages are typically not legitimate.
- Be wary of unusual payment arrangements. Scammers frequently ask for cash sent via FedEx or Western Union, or gift cards – all of which are difficult or impossible to trace.
- Confirm that your friend has reached out to you by contacting them via phone or text. If their Facebook account has been hacked, you’re doing them a favor by notifying them.
- Protect your account with two-factor authentication. This extra layer of security requires an additional step, but reduces the chance that a hacker could access your account. You can set it up in your Facebook account by clicking on “Settings” and following the instructions.
- Don’t share or discuss any personal financial information on social media. Security is an issue in these forums and your information may be accessible to almost anyone.
- Talk with your credit union staff. If you have any concerns about transactions, members of the Cinfed Team are prepared to answer your questions.
Awareness and communication are the best ways to combat fraud on social media. Visit Cinfed’s Security Corner for more tips for protecting your accounts.