Crisp Labs, our research division, has revealed new statistics that confirm the growing problem of fraudulent content on social media. There are a staggering 14 million scams on Facebook a day (that’s 165 per second), and written posts aren’t the only source of fraud. Instagram, that has 80 million photos uploaded a day, is also seeing a huge amount of content with malicious intent.What kind of scams are there?
In 2016, Crisp Labs found that across our clients’ Facebook and Instagram accounts, 25% of scams involved ‘get rich’ schemes, loan applications or promised payments and 15% asked the receiver to call a phone number to get an online deal.
It’s not just financial information that tricksters are after. The research also revealed that 30% of schemes ask the receiver to click a link to a different page or to download a link to what could be malware.
With social media accounts being owned by almost everyone these days, from children to household-name brands, the volume of fraudulent content on social media will continue to rise.
Whilst our job is to protect thousands of global social media channels for the world’s largest brands, we also want individual users to be safe on social media and recognize the signs of cyber crime.
Here are some top tips from our CEO, Adam Hildreth, on protecting yourself from being scammed online:
1. It’s not just ‘friends’ on Facebook. Be very careful about what personal information you share (e.g. your surname, date of birth, mother’s maiden name). As posts get shared with friends, your personal data could be spreading much wider than you intended.
2. Watch out for the ‘Jigsaw Effect’. If your social media profile gives your location and you’ve posted photos of your house previously, then you announce you’re on holiday for two weeks, suddenly you’ve told unsavory people where is safe to burgle. The same goes for sharing financial information.
3. Regularly check the privacy settings on your social media accounts. Big social networks often launch new privacy features and set them as ‘public’, meaning you could be showing previously private content to all users.
4. Beware of emails or online adverts that say you can make money quickly from home. They are often pyramid schemes that ask you to pay upfront for products that are worthless. Do not forward the advert to friends, pay any money or give your personal details.
5. If you do online banking, check your statements often. Even if your card is in your wallet, someone could have stolen the details. Quite often theft is revealed in small purchases that stack up.