Bewarned: Here Are 5 Social Media Scams That Target Your Bank Account

Scammers are everywhere looking for an opportunity to defraud people of their hard-earned money and you should not fall victim.

Are you eager to prevent yourself from being scammed by online fraudsters who target social media users? Here are 5 things to do to safeguard your bank account according to WellsFargo.

Scam #1: Social media phishing
A fraudulent social media account impersonates a reputable company by using the company’s name and logo. These accounts may link to fraudulent websites that request your sensitive information.

Scammers may try to convince victims to provide their information by linking to sites that appear legitimate, but whose URLs differ slightly from the real sites, such as a misspelled website name or another domain name. Once you enter your credentials on this site, the scammers can access your username and password. The links may also contain instructions to “like” a page, share a link, and complete a survey, through which scammers earn money every time a questionnaire is completed.
Scam #2: Card cracking
In this scenario, scammers use social media to post opportunities to make quick and easy money. They ask for your debit card and PIN and/or mobile banking username and password to deposit a fake check into your account. They may ask you to report your card lost or stolen or that your credentials have been compromised in order to seek reimbursement from the bank. In exchange, scammers promise you a portion of the funds you deposit.

After gaining access to your account, scammers can transfer funds or deposit phony checks into your account and quickly make withdrawals before your bank identifies the checks as illegitimate.

Not only are you robbed of your money, but you might also face hefty fines and criminal charges because your participation in this scheme makes you a co-conspirator.

Scam #3: Online dating
Scammers have been known to create fake social media accounts and use the promise of love to trick naive victims into sending them money. They may use a fictional name or falsely assume the identities of aid workers, military personnel, or other professionals working abroad.

“Scammers have been known to create fake social media accounts and use the promise of love to trick naïve victims into sending them money.”
Once they have gained your trust, they may claim to need funds for an emergency or other hardship and convince you to provide your account information or wire money before disappearing.

Some telltale signs of this scam include poor or vague communication, flowery language, a small number of Facebook pictures and posts, or a Twitter account with just a few tweets.

#4: Clickjacking
In clickjacking, scammers try to trick you into clicking on a malicious link by hiding it under another hyperlink you want to click on. This can result in unknowingly downloading malware or revealing sensitive information.

For example, scammers may claim to be from a legitimate business, offering a coupon or special deal. Here is how this scam works:

You click on a seemingly harmless link on social media. The link directs you to a survey page asking for personal or account information. You complete the survey, not realising that sensitive information is being shared with the scammer.

If you fall for a clickjacking scam, you may disclose sensitive information that can put you at risk for fraud or identity theft.
#5: Angler phishing
It is the latest version of social media phishing. It’s called “Angler phishing” and, yes, the name is from the scary deep-sea fish in the movie,‘Finding Nemo’. It refers to a clever new scam in which crooks impersonate the social media teams of banks and retailers in order to trick consumers into disclosing sensitive personal information.

According to, the scam started popping up last year and it works like this: A consumer has a question for a bank or a retailer but instead of using phone or email, they turn to Twitter to ask for help. Customers know these companies have special teams to watch social media, so they are not surprised when they get a response. Unfortunately, this response may come from a cyber-crook instead of the bank or company.

The crooks use realistic-looking social media accounts and, once the consumer responds, they quickly direct them to a fake website. The fake website is designed to look exactly like a real bank or retail site, prompting the consumer to enter information such as his or her login and password.

You get the idea. Both the social media agent and the website feel so real that the customer discloses all sorts of information without realising they’re doing it. As a final kicker, once the consumer has entered all that data, the crooks will often say “thank you” and redirect the victim back to the real company website.

“The bad guys put it all together; a social media account, the website, even fake email accounts, to create a whole environment,” says Devin Redmond, a VP at Proofpoint, a firm that protects companies against email and social fraud scams.

In terms of damage, the con artists will typically use the information to go after customers’ bank accounts directly.

Redmond says the angler phishing scam is mostly found on Twitter, but is now also turning up on Facebook and Instagram, where brands deploy social media teams to engage with consumers. He says the new con is proving effective because consumers have come to expect a response from the brands on social media, and because the crooks produce fake accounts that look so realistic.

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