How To Detect And Control Fraudsters On Social Media

Fraudsters in the hands/phones of innocent people is one major disadvantage to being on social media. People’s social media accounts are taken over regularly by fraudsters. Such accounts could be used to commit fraud in the name of the victim without his/her knowledge until such accounts are recovered. The following observations by everyone on social media could help them identify fraudsters earlier and take actions that would safely guard them against future defrauding.

First of all, any unknown person who contacts you on social media is a potential fraudster. It’s true, correspondence between friends or new friends and/or official correspondence could come from unknown numbers. To confirm your fears of a potential fraudster, a strange contact which could not disclose the purpose of contacting you within three separate exchanges of replies is a fraudster. To confirm further, you must ask the person directly the purpose of their contact if the purpose was not disclosed Within the first three (3) replies. Failure to answer such questions is more than confirmation. An answer would equally serve the purpose of confirmation.

Secondly, for Facebook users, observing the walls of people who send you friends’requests is one sure way to avoid being friends with a fraudster. Fraudsters on your friends list are very dangerous because they would have the opportunity to learn and pick a lot of information about you that could be used to target you for a fraud scheme. In scrutinizing the wall of people who send friends requests, you must check whether people post fraudulent schemes like fixed odds, lotto related items, protocol recruitment/promotions or even money ritual items. These are people you do not need to be friends with. The fraudsters having noticed people are concerned with such posts on their walls, they modified their schemes where they would create multiple accounts and use one for the post and tag themselves as if they were innocent but criminals have been tagging them. It is true not most people are conversant with facebook settings to prevent people from tagging. However, being tagged in such dubious post consistently and not do anything about it obviously is questionable. Accepting friends request from such persons is just setting up yourself for target

Also, for Facebook users, observing the number of friends a person has before accepting his/her friend’s request could protect you. People with very low friends, mostly less than 20 friends and people with a lot of friends above 1,000 friends are suspicious people. They are either very credible or they are crooks. If a friend request with such a number of friends is not someone you know personally or the account is not a verified account, it is in your interest to combine other signals like the kind of post on the walls of the person or the date of last post or the date the account was opened.

In addition, social media friends with no posts on Facebook walls or no display picture (dp) on whatsapp/telegram/facebook (not necessarily their personal pictures) are very suspicious. The reason being non-dp accounts are not easily be recollected by the brain.

For Facebook accounts too, accounts that are created recently and send friend requests around are suspected accounts and people must only accept friend requests from people they know personally. The reason is that such an account could be created purposely for a fraud scheme targeted at you.

The remedy to social media fraudsters and to avoid future schemes targeted at you and friends is to block such people as early as possible. The social media platforms work such that they are able to use system algorithms to track those that are being blocked by people to either block such accounts permanently or restrict the account after a certain limit of reports is made.

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