With billions of people now on social media globally, the number of scams is on the rise. Criminals are now using platforms to lure victims into parting with their money or personal data in a way that convinces the victim that they are genuine.
Avoiding social media scams is now a priority for users, so it’s important to be aware of the latest ways scammers are using popular sites to trick people.
The latest scam that has been highlighted by experts is mostly affecting Facebook users, and it involves offering “free phones” to lure victims. There are dozens of groups offering “free cell phones” and, although some might be legitimate, many are just preying on consumers.
In a warning on Kim Komando’s tech blog, consumers looking for a cheap phone upgrade need to be aware of the risks. In her blog post, she writes: “We’re not talking about generic burner phones, either… often hawking name-brand devices for less than $10. This scam starts deceptively.
Sellers use the Amazon label to make deals seem legitimate to unsuspecting victims. These promotions claim you will receive “a special offer” from Amazon… [implying] that these extremely affordable phones are old stock that needs to be cleared out, or they’re being sold for charity.
If you come across these ads, you may see a hastily-made video of a product unpackaging with an AI-generated voice giving more false details compelling you to buy. The unbelievable prices are a dead giveaway to the fact that they are scams.”
She continues to explain that after clicking on the links included on these promotions, users are directed to a fake Amazon website, complete with fake reviews and Facebook comments. It sometimes includes a time limit to add pressure, which can convince some users to go for a deal on a new phone before the promotion comes to an end.
However, Amazon has already confirmed that it’s not associated with any of the deals being offered. The scammers are running Facebook schemes to collect data so they can take over the user’s Facebook profile and other accounts, including their online banking profile.