Social media can be a hot bed of illegal activity. Scammers use it to share malicious links, to capture personal information and to entice victims into complex romance or investment schemes. The most effective tool for social media scammers, however, is posing as a trusted friend or family member.
Dating way before the coronavirus outbreak, scammers have hacked into people’s social media accounts so they can use apps like Facebook Messenger to target the true account owner’s community on social media. They may claim they just got their free government grant money, and others can too, if they just call a certain number or click on a link. (The government does not offer grants to individuals.)
If you get an odd-sounding message from someone in your Facebook contacts, reach out to that person in another way to determine if their account was hacked. If it was, tell them to change their password right away, and let others in your online community know.
Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.
Visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork or call the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 1-877-908-3360 to report a scam or get help if you’ve fallen victim.