Day 25: Do not fall for scams by impersonators on social media.

Welcome to Cybersecurity in 31 Days. I’m Malan Faya, your host. Today is Day 25. To view previous posts, click here.

Social media is now the haunting ground used by scammers in finding their victims. The most common social-media scams reported involved dating, romance, fake online trading, and online blackmail.

Dating and romance scammers trick their victims into falling in love with them and then use their victim’s trust to deceitfully take their money hard earn money.

Fake trader scams involve situations where the victims see advertisements for online stores on social media selling discounted products made by well-known brands. Many of these online stores are fake as victims ‘buy’ goods that do not exist.

Online blackmails involve situations where the victims who had shared intimate videos or photos with someone they had met online are being blackmailed. The scammers typically demand money from their victims and threaten to release their (scandalous) videos or photos online should their victims fail to cooperate.

So next time you receive a suspicious email or post via social-media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, be on guard. A scammer may have fraudulently accessed your friend’s account to send messages to every contact to scam each one of them. Whenever you are in doubt, try to reach your friend or contact through other means (such as phone call) to confirm before taking any action. It’s better to be late than be late.

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