Beware of social media scammers before they prey on you

Platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter can be used by fraudsters to steal users' information and use it illegally by impersonating them.
Platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter can be used by fraudsters to steal users' information and use it illegally by impersonating them.

SOCIAL media is the best platform consumers can use to keep up with the latest trends, interact and catch up with friends and family but it is fast becoming a platform where fraudsters attempt to catch unsuspecting consumers off guard.

One of South Africa’s biggest bank, First National Bank (FNB) has issued a stern warning to consumers that as social media continues to gain prominence, platforms like Instagram, Youtube, Facebook and Twitter can be used by fraudsters to steal their information and use it illegally by impersonating them.

Kovelin Naidoo, Chief Cyber Security Officer at FNB, said although social media scams have not reached an alarming rate in South Africa, the reality is that they do exist.

Read also:Prosecutor’s 6 top tips on social media dangers

“Given that the popularity of social media is set to remain for the coming years, consumers are encouraged to constantly educate themselves and their loved ones about the latest methods that fraudsters use to get hold of their victims’ personal information,” said Naidoo.

The banking icon said precautionary measures should be taken in the following areas:

Blackmail – never share personal photos or videos on social media that portray you in a compromising position as scammers can use them to blackmail you by threatening upload them on public platforms.

Phishing – beware of fraudsters pretending to be the on social media. The bank will never ask for your credit or cheque card, account number, online banking login details or password or One Time PIN (OTP) on social media platforms.

Dating and romance scams – consumers who use social media platforms to meet companions or their life partners should lookout for fraudsters that play on emotional triggers to scam people out of their money.

Read also:Be careful what you share online

Identity theft – avoid sharing personal information, such as ID, passport, drivers license, payslip, bank statement, municipal or account statements on social media.

Naidoo warned consumers about allowing their account to be used by another person to deposit or transact on.

“This can put you in serious trouble with authorities as allowing proceeds of crime to be laundered through your bank account, knowingly or unknowingly, is a criminal offence,” Naidoo concluded.

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  AUTHOR
Northglen News/ Bhekumndeni Kunene

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