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Consumer Watch: Social media scams to watch for


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Social media is supposed to keep friends and family connected, but as our circles grow., so does the potential that we might meet someone who doesn't have our best interest at heart.

There are several social media scams making the rounds—but there are red flags that could clue you in to possible danger.

Dating Scams

You start an online love affair, but soon your new significant other has an emergency.

“The other party starts to need favors and need clothes and need money, like that,” says Patrick Allmond, Focus Marketing.

Allmond adds that there is often a scammer on the other end, exploiting your feelings and desire to meet face to face.

"Help Me" Scams

It can include a script with a person you think you know telling you they are in jail, or in trouble, and that they need some money to get back home.

Allmond says it is odd for people in an emergency, who need money, to contact their friends list via social media. Don't get pressured into sending money right away. Ask question to get the truth.

"Pay Me Back" Scams

If you are looking to buy or sell something on the web, a scammer may offer to send you a check with more than the amount. You send them some money and keep the rest for yourself.

“What happens is that you get that check, you go to your bank, you try to cash it and it is not a real check, but you are out that overhead money, that thousand dollars,” explains Allmond.

Fake checks can look plenty real to the untrained eye. Talk to your bank because they may be able to verify the information for you.

Employment Scams

If friends start asking you for money for a supposed excellent business opportunity, that's a red flag. Never send money online and make sure your friend’s account hasn't been hacked. Something as simple as a phone call can keep you from losing money.

If you have been the victim of a scam-- we've got your back with next steps:

  • File a police report.
  • Contact your bank.
  • Check your credit report.
  • Consider freezing your credit if your financial information is compromised.

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