4 Social Media Money Scams and How to Spot Them

Julia Carlson |

Did you know that social media scams have been picking more pockets than any other scam today––including phone calls and text fraud? Fraudsters exploit the trust people have in their online communities and use various tactics to trick their victims. Here are the four common social media money scams and how to identify them:

1. The Giveaway Gimmick

You’ve been selected to WIN a FREE GIFT CARD for $1,000! Just click here to claim your prize in the next 5 minutes before it disappears forever!

You see a post from a seemingly legitimate account, like your favorite brand or celebrity, announcing a "huge giveaway!" They claim you've won a massive prize, like a new phone or a dream vacation. The catch? You need to send them a direct message with your personal information or click on a suspicious link to "claim" your prize. Instead, you’re more likely clicking a link to get malware or viruses that can steal your personal sensitive information and your money.

Red Flags: Real giveaways rarely require upfront information or clicking unknown links. Check the account's authenticity to ensure it is a verified account with a history of legitimate posts.

2. The Investment Illusion

Don’t miss out on this BIG opportunity to double or triple your money! But you must invest NOW.

These scams promise unrealistic returns on "guaranteed" investment opportunities. Often, they involve cryptocurrency or "get rich quick" schemes. They might feature testimonials from supposed "success stories" or use flashy graphics to create a sense of urgency.

Red Flags: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Never invest based solely on social media posts. Do your research: Is the investment platform legitimate? What are the risks involved?

3. The Fake Shopping Frenzy

Get the best deal on our super exclusive product, but only if you BUY NOW!

You see an ad for an incredible deal on a brand-name product or a trendy new gadget. The seller's profile may seem new or lack reviews. They pressure you to buy now before the "limited-time offer" expires and request upfront payment through unusual methods.

Red Flags: Beware of unrealistic discounts and pressure tactics. Use secure payment methods on established platforms. Also, research the seller: Do they have a website with legitimate contact information?

4. The Impersonation Identity Theft

Your boss messages, “I have a presentation in a few, I need you to physically go to any nearby store and purchase me some gift certificates. I need the cards back codes for a presentation. I will reimburse you when I am through.”

Scammers create fake social media profiles imitating real accounts, often those of trusted friends, family, or companies. They reach out to you with a sob story, an urgent request, or an emergency needing immediate financial assistance.

Red Flags: Be cautious of unexpected messages, especially those requesting money. Contact the person directly through a verified channel to confirm their situation. Never send money to someone you can't verify.

Additional tips for avoiding money scams:

  • Be wary of unsolicited messages or offers.
  • Avoid sharing personal information or financial details on social media.
  • Use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication on your accounts.

By recognizing these red flags and practicing caution, you can avoid falling victim to social media money scams and protect your hard-earned cash.

Information in this material is for general information only and not intended as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please consult the appropriate professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation prior to making any financial decision. Email me your questions at info@financialfreedomwmg.com or call/text 458.777.4458.  You can also post your question on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FinancialFreedomWealthManagementGroup or find us on Instagram @financialfreedomwmg.