I read a post from Premier Social Media on Social Media Scams and thought about all the ways people are abusing the social digital space. You know who they are, they friend you on Facebook to place ads on your page. They fill your Twitter stream with “ways to your teeth white” or information on how “you too, can make money online”. Then there are the folks who send you videos… a scammer or hackers favorite way to get your attention. They often send it from a real friend compromising both accounts. Here are of my steadfast Social Media rules:
- If you try to sell me a product I will not engage with you
- I do not open videos from anyone… period… unless I’m expecting a link
- I don’t open links if there isn’t a message in the subject line
- If I see repeated messages in any of the Social Media places I live I will “unfollow” or “unfriend” you
- I will not follow back someone who is new in the space unless I know them personally. By that I mean, if you only have two tweets on Twitter it’s not time for us to communicate… I need to see why you are where you are and what your messaging will be about
- Finally, no photo, no profile information and no contact info… no reason to engage with you
Here’s some great information on the subject from Premier Social Media in their post
Like any other popular medium, scammers have begun to really attack social media. The problem is that it’s not always as easy as you might think to spot them. After all, the main point of social media is talk up our businesses and ourselves, right? Networking involves discussing what you do and leaving relevant links . . . but some people take this too far and use Twitter, Facebook and other sites to promote complete scams. Here’s how to spot them.
They promise to help you earn money. Social media works very well as a networking tool. It can be used to promote your business, too, but it’s not that great for actually raking in the cash. So, if you see someone offering to help you get rich on Twitter (or any other site, for that matter), beware! Too often, these scammers want you to send them money and they will share their secrets . . . or not.
Robot tweets. Twitter is probably the most vulnerable to auto messages, though other sites do have issues with this, as well. If you see the exact same message popping up on everyone’s accounts, you need to be careful. It’s probably being sent out automatically and without actually being recommended by the person who sent it.
Incorrect descriptions. When you see someone suggesting you take a look at their latest baby pic, then when you click you end up on a weight loss site, get out fast! This is a common scam, where the text is designed to make you want to click on the link, which actually takes you to a download page or requires you to sign in for something . . . which gives them your account name and password. You should also have an up to date anti-virus and anti-spyware program on your computer, since these sites can infect your computer.
People become your friend only to sell you things. While there are plenty of interesting, useful people on social media networks, you’ll find that there are also entirely too many who pretend to be interesting and friendly, but once you’ve accepted them, they start bombarding you with pyramid schemes and assorted other scams. This is usually because the only way for them to make their money back is to get you to join.
Using social media is a great way to build your brand for very little cost, but it can also cause you a lot of grief if you end up falling for one of the many, many scams out there. Be wary and just stay away from anyone who seems suspicious.