Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and others are social media platforms that offer a unique place for communication. But the truth is that you need to be careful even on social media since many scammers live and prosper there. To help you identify social media scams and not get hooked by them, we invite you to explore the most popular types of online scams and how to detect them. See more kinds of social media scams in the first part.

1. Account blocking scam

Account blocking scam

This scheme is common on Facebook – this is the distribution of messages or letters with a warning, allegedly from Facebook, that your account will be disabled until you take the required action. Scammers ask you to log in by clicking on the link in this message (or letter). If you do this, scammers will take over your personal information.

Why it works:

Scammers exploit people’s social media addiction.

How to identify and avoid an account blocking scam:

Do not trust any messages that claim to be "official messages from Facebook" unless they come through official channels (for example, the website itself).

2. Stuck abroad scam

Stuck abroad scam

A friend or family member writes you a message saying that they are stuck in London or whatever, and their wallet was stolen. Therefore, you need to urgently help them and transfer them some money. This is a popular scam where a scammer hacks your friend's account or creates a fake profile of your friend and then asks you to transfer money.

Why it works:

Scammers exploit people’s trust.

How to identify and avoid such a scam:

  • If this situation arises, call your friend from whom you received the message, or contact them in some other way to verify this information.
  • Never transfer money blindly.

3. IQ scam

IQ scam

Many popular platforms have an app that allows you to check your IQ. True story: Those who subscribed to this service also unknowingly subscribed to an expensive messaging service with a monthly fee of, for example, $30.

Why it works:

Scammers exploit people’s needs to test/confirm/prove their intelligence.

How to identify an IQ scam:

Be careful with the plugins or apps you use on Facebook. Many of them have full access to information on your profile when you use them.

4. See Who Viewed Your Profile scam

See Who Viewed Your Profile scam

You follow a special link to check who viewed your profile. But in reality, you are redirected to a fake page collecting your personal data.

Why it works:

Scammers exploit people’s desire to maintain social status:

How to avoid this kind of scam:

If you are redirected to some page, check if its URL address is legitimate.