Social Media Investment Scams
April 07, 2022
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre warns social media users of a new scam targeting Instagram accounts. Scammers send phishing emails or direct messages through social platforms with fraudulent links for fake login pages. Once the user enters their login credentials, the scammers are able to steal that information and take over the users’ account.
Once the account has been taken over, scammers proceed to blackmail their victims into recording a video of themselves promoting a fake cryptocurrency platform before posting it to the victim’s social media accounts. A link is provided in the post and followers are encouraged to make an investment, which is actually fraudulent. Victims will never recover their social media accounts, and their followers are at risk of losing their money if they invest through the fraudulent cryptocurrency link.
Here are a few ways you can protect yourself and your social media followers from becoming a victim of an investment scam.
- Do not click links or download attachments sent via text message, email, or direct message
If you do not know the message sender or have received a message that seems out of character from the sender, it is advised you do NOT click the link as they can contain viruses or malware, able to steal your information.
- Prior to investing, ask for information on the investment
If the investment opportunity seems too good to be true, it probably is. Always ask questions before agreeing to invest, even if the call to invest comes from someone you trust. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
- Verify if the investment companies are registered with your provincial securities agency or the National Registration Search Tool
Vetting a possible investment company is a crucial step before deciding to pull the trigger on any investment opportunity, especially one that appears to be suspicious.
- Create different passwords for all online accounts
This is a vital step to keeping your personal information secure. If scammers are able to steal your login credentials and gain access to one online account, if your passwords are all the same, it can only take a matter of minutes for them to gain access to ALL of your accounts.
- Enable multi-factor authentication
Multi-factor authentication is an electronic authentication method in which a user is granted access to a website or application only after successfully presenting two or more pieces of evidence to an authentication mechanism. Enabling multi-factor authentication makes it more difficult for scammers to gain access to your online accounts.
Don’t reveal personal information over social media
Sharing a photo of your first pet, throwing back to 1st Grade at your Elementary school, or sharing information about the city you were born in might seem completely harmless, but this is the type of information that is often used for security questions when it comes to retrieving or resetting your password. Posting such information can make hacking into your account far easier than expected for scammers.
Report crime online!
The RCMP are encouraging all Albertans to report eligible crimes online (select property crimes under $5,000). Reporting less serious crimes online helps emergency dispatch and frontline members focus their time on high-priority calls. It provides a convenient way to share photos to the RCMP as well. These reports assist in crime analysis, aid in establishing trends and patterns, and ultimately leads investigators to the chronic offenders. It also assists in making decisions about how and where to deploy resources. Crimes reported online will be taken just as seriously as crime reported in any other way.
Help reduce crime, report online! #ReportSmart
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