Cybercriminals are constantly finding new ways to steal from social media users. The most common targets include account login credentials, personal information, and bank and credit card information.

The most common Facebook scams

Facebook is the world's most popular social media app, making it a prime target for scammers. Some of the most common scams on Facebook include:

Phishing scams: Scammers send emails or direct messages with sketchy links that download malware or capture login credentials on fake websites.

Romance scams: Scammers send friend requests and direct messages to create a false romantic interest with the goal of stealing money from the victim.

Prize or job offer scams: Scammers offer fake prizes or job offers to obtain personal information or money from the victim.

Quizzes and games: Scammers ask questions to obtain personal information that can be used to access online accounts.

Charity scams: Scammers create fake charities during times of disaster to solicit donations on sites like GoFundMe.

The most common Instagram scams

With over one billion monthly users, Instagram is the fourth most popular social media platform, making it a popular target for scammers. Some of the most common scams on Instagram include:

Fake investment scams: Scammers promise high returns for a small investment.

Bogus brand collaboration scams: Scammers offer to pay for product promotion and steal financial data when provided.

Selling followers and likes scams: Scammers ask for payment in exchange for likes or followers, but steal financial data when payment details are provided.

Giveaway scams: Scammers entice users to participate in a prize giveaway, but require personal information or payment to claim the winnings.

Imposter brand scams: Scammers sell counterfeit goods or never deliver promised goods under the guise of a popular brand to drain bank accounts.

To stay protected from scams on social media, follow these steps

Secure your privacy settings: On Instagram, set your account to private so only approved followers can see your posts. On Facebook, hide sensitive information from those outside your friends list through your settings.

Use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication: Strong passwords and two-factor authentication will prevent unwanted logins.

Monitor third-party apps: Regularly review and delete any suspicious third-party apps connected to your Instagram account.

Buy from verified profiles and brand accounts: Before making a purchase, verify the account is legitimate by checking for a blue circle checkmark next to the name.

Search for accounts in your name: Regularly search Facebook and Instagram for your name to identify and report impostor accounts.

Decline friend requests from unknown users: Decline friend requests from anyone you do not know to reduce the risk of scams.

Avoid suspicious links and unsolicited messages: do not click on suspicious links or respond to unsolicited messages, even if they appear to be from a friend.