Criminals are engaged in many types of Facebook scams. At TCI Technologies, our goal is to help you stay safe while browsing the Web. Here's what to look out for to protect your personal privacy.
"Clickbait" Headlines Can Be Facebook Scams
The Scam: A headline that seems too extreme to be true.
A clickbait headline is one that encourages people to click to an article without much information. A dangerous link can take a user to a site that installs a virus, malware or ransomware. A site containing such a headline may require a user to enter credit card information or a username and password to an email account.
The remedy: Don't click on it.
To avoid this and similar Facebook scams, seek out higher-quality news from sources that offer in-depth coverage. Also try doing an Internet search for the topic instead. Avoid giving out your personal information without a guarantee that you will receive an automated message sent to a secure email address the company has on file.
Coupons and Gift Certificates Are Problematic
The scam: A coupon or gift certificate for a huge discount or a triple-digit figure.
Many Facebook scams involve fake coupons and gift certificates to major retailers like Lowe's and Wegmans that advertise incredible deals, such as 50 percent or $200 off purchases. Criminals often ask for personal financial information in exchange for a coupon or gift certificate. This leads you to believe the transaction is valid and you are getting something of value.
You could also ask about the store's recent strategies to attract customers. Typically, retailers offer a free item or a one-time discount to induce first-time shoppers to come to a location. A store typically will not have an "open" coupon or gift certificate that lasts for a long period of time or is worth more than $100 off a purchase.
The remedy: Don't use it and report it.
Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true. Call the store's customer service line or visit its website to ask if the coupon or gift certificate is valid. If it is not, report the concern.
Quizzes: Not What You Want to Click On
The scam: A quiz that seems too exciting to be real.
Quizzes, especially those associated with clickbait headlines, may encourage you to send them to everyone in your social circle. Many quizzes contain ransomware designed to steal personal information.
The remedy: Don't click on it or send it.
Avoid "passing along" interactive quizzes, especially those that lead to questionable sites.
Remember, if a deal or offer sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Stay cautious and keep these Facebook scams in mind to prevent becoming a victim.