How to Spot and Avoid Fraudulent Accounts on Social Media

Social media has become integral to our lives, connecting us with friends, family, and businesses. However, with the rise of social media, there has also been an increase in fraudulent accounts. They aim to deceive and scam users out of their personal information or money.

People report scams online at FraudTrac daily, and a lot of them include fraudulent accounts on social media. In this blog, we will explore how to spot and avoid fraudulent accounts on social media so that you can protect yourself and your personal information.

Look for Verified Accounts

One of the easiest ways to spot a fraudulent account on social media is by checking for verified accounts. Many social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, have a verification process where legitimate accounts are marked with a blue checkmark.

A blue checkmark indicates that the platform has verified the account and belongs to a genuine public figure, celebrity, or brand. Be cautious of accounts that claim to be from well-known individuals or companies but do not have a verified badge, as they may be impersonators.

Scrutinize Account Information

In only one quarter of 2022, Facebook took down 1.3 billion fake accounts! These accounts often have incomplete or inconsistent account information. When encountering a suspicious account, carefully review its profile information, including the username, display name, bio, and profile picture.

Look for any red flags, such as usernames that contain random numbers or a string of letters, vague or incomplete bio information, or profile pictures that seem suspicious or low-quality. Legitimate accounts typically have complete and consistent information, so any inconsistencies or lack of information should raise suspicion.

Check for the Authenticity of Posts and Engagement

Another way to spot fraudulent accounts on social media is by checking the authenticity of their posts and engagement. Around a third of US social media users create fake accounts. Fraudulent accounts often have a pattern of suspicious behavior, such as posting irrelevant or repetitive content, engaging in spammy or robotic-like behavior, or having an unusually high number of followers or likes compared to their activity level.

Legitimate accounts typically have authentic engagement and post relevant content that aligns with their profile information and brand.

person scrolling through Instagram

Verify Links and URLs

Fraudulent accounts on social media often use links or URLs to redirect users to malicious websites or scam pages. Before clicking on any links or URLs shared by an account, verify their authenticity. Be cautious of links that seem suspicious or ask for personal information, financial details, or passwords. Legitimate accounts typically share links to their official websites or trusted sources.

Use Caution with Direct Messages and Friend Requests

Fraudulent accounts often use direct messages or friend requests to establish contact with users and initiate their scams. Be cautious of unsolicited friend requests or direct messages from unknown accounts, especially if they are requesting personal information or financial transactions. Legitimate accounts typically do not engage in such behavior and respect user privacy.

Report Malicious Activity Online

If you come across a suspicious account on social media, report it to the platform immediately. If you want to file complaints about fraud or report scams online in addition to the social media platform, FraudTrac is the place to come to. We have an online cyber-attack tracker, and we record frauds, scams, and other malicious activities to ensure you remain safe. You can also file and track your complaint.

Get in touch with us today to report malicious activities to protect yourself and others around you.

 

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