Scam warning: Why quizzes sent to you by friends on social media may be much more sinister

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    Many Britons will no doubt pride themselves on being clued up on warning signs to watch out for when it comes to scams. However, with coronavirus scams having emerged during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and Britons spending more time at home during this time, there’s still every need to be on alert.

    It’s something which Paul Davis, Retail Fraud Director at Lloyds Bank, has addressed.

    Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Davis warned of ways in which fraudsters can take advantage of unknowing victims.

    This includes gaining access to personal information via social media platforms.

    “Scammers are getting more sophisticated all the time, but they don’t need to look around too hard to find basic information online about people,” he said.

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    “They may then use email or call with some urgent action and convince people to share their personal banking details.

    “The main thing to remember is that a genuine bank or company will never phone you out of the blue and ask for you to transfer money or share your personal banking details.

    “Social media scammers can also use your profile to steal your personal information or use fake links which ask you to enter your details.

    “We are also seeing a new type of scam on Facebook – a bait and switch scam – which uses a social media post to share fake links to viral videos.

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    “The link however goes to a fake site with a virus which scammers use to steal personal and banking details.”

    And, while many may well be careful with what they post, being sent quizzes and challenges to complete could pose a risk.

    What’s more, it may be that fellow social media users innocently encourage their friends and acquaintances to share their personal information – which then gets into the wrong hands.

    “People should of course be wary of sharing any personal details on social media,” Mr Davis said.

    “Remember that even if a post is shared by a friend it could still be a scam,” he said.

    Mr Davis added: “With so many scams out there, it’s important to protect yourself by thinking about the main red flags – out of the blue contact asking you to make a payment or take action straight away, and asking for your bank details.

    “These are the main things to remember to help spot scams. We’re encouraging families to be the first line of defence by talking more openly about fraud to help protect each other.

    “Although people may feel ashamed or embarrassed if they have been or almost been a victim, the more confident we are about spotting the signs of a scam, the safer we’ll all be.”



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