A social media scam recently cost an Indian army veteran from Pune over a crore rupee in losses. The veteran, who was passionate about collecting rare coins, got a message from someone posing as a coin collector on social media. The guy promised to assist the veteran in increasing his social media likes and followers in exchange for him sharing photos of his coin collection. However, the veteran lost all his cash because of a cunning social media fraud that came next. The con artist won the veteran’s confidence and persuaded him to put money into a phoney cryptocurrency scheme. The investment was a hoax, despite the con artist’s claims that it would provide enormous returns. In a similar case where a woman offered money and a job for hitting like on social media also fall into the prey For Money-Like-Scam and lost 50 lacs.
What is the Scam?
In a money-for-like social media scam, con artists promise cash or other rewards in exchange for likes, shares, or comments on online content. These scams are made to spread quickly and take advantage of social media’s ability to reach many people swiftly. A money-for-like scam attempts to persuade people to interact with a fraudulent post or message that may make untrue promises or provide inaccurate information. In order to build false social media accounts or sell the data to other advertising, the con artist may leverage the engagement data.
Money-like scams occur in many forms and can be highly persuasive, especially to gullible people trying to find a quick way to make money. Scams that raise money include phoney giveaways, Ponzi schemes, and Charity drives. Rackets involving money are becoming more prevalent on social media, and individuals who fall for them may suffer severe repercussions. These scams not only have the probability of causing monetary losses but are also likely to cause identity theft, phishing attacks, and other types of cybercrime.
How and Why of Money-for-Like Scam?
The two main components of money-for-like scams are social media interaction and emotional manipulation. Users are influenced emotionally to interact with fake posts or messages. To get users to like, share, or comment on the post, scammers frequently appeal to their readers’ emotions, such as fear, greed, or empathy. For instance, a post might state that it will donate money to a good cause for each like or share it receives or that it is a rich investment opportunity with assured profits. Engagement on social media is essential to the success of like-scams. Social media’s ability to go viral helps scammers reach a large audience rapidly. By providing users with incentives. Scammers can use the power of social media to quickly reach a considerable number of individuals in order to engage with the post or message. Once a money-for-like scam has gained popularity, the con artist may alter the post’s or message’s content to advertise a good or service, reroute viewers to an evil website, or sell the engagement data to outside advertisers. Con artists may occasionally use the interaction information to set up phoney social media accounts or commit other online crimes. Scams involving money can take a variety of shapes and be challenging to spot. False freebies, investment scams, and charity drives are a few frequent examples. In each instance, the con artist manipulates consumers’ emotions and social media interaction to persuade them to interact with the post or message.
Examples of Money for Like Scams
Money for like scams can take many forms and constantly evolve as scammers try new tactics to trick users. Here are some examples of common money-for-like scams:
- Fake giveaways
- Investment schemes
- Charity drive
- Phishing attacks
- Clickbait scams
Psychology behind the scam
The Mentality of Money-for-Like Scams is effective because they draw on a number of psychological concepts that appeal to a diverse group of users. The primary psychological theories driving money-for-like schemes include the following: Scammers use these social techniques to manipulate and deceive people’s emotions. Once the victim falls into their trap, it’s simple for them to achieve their financial goals. These social tactics include Social Proof, Scarcity, Reciprocity, Fear of missing out (FOMO), and Trust.
What to Look for in a Money-for-Like Scam?
Scammers will claim to pay people money in return for likes, shares, or comments on social media posts in a scam known as a “money-for-like.” Here’s how you spot and stay clear of money-for-like scams:
- Unwanted proposals: Be on the lookout for unsolicited offers to earn money by merely sharing, liking, or commenting on posts on social media. Almost too nice to be true An offer is most likely false if it seems too good to be true. Scammers frequently make enormous money-for-little-effort promises.
- Not verified: A trustworthy business typically confirms your identity before giving you money or prizes if you receive a cash offer.
- No verification: Reputable businesses typically confirm your identity before paying or rewarding you. It’s a scam if someone offers you money without first confirming your identification.
- Payment in advance: It’s a warning sign if the con artist demands payment in advance or requests personal information. Genuine businesses never demand payment or personal information upfront.
What you can do if you were a victim of a money scam?
- Inform the appropriate authorities about the scam: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the cybercrime cell, or the social media platform can receive a hoax report. The Cyberpeace Foundation can also be contacted…
- Speak to your bank: Contact your bank immediately to stop unauthorised transactions if you’ve given the fraudster your bank account details.
- Change your passwords: If you gave the fraudster your social media login information, you should change them immediately to stop further access.
- Exercise caution: Future offers that seem too good to be true or uninvited should be avoided. Always remember that if an offer seems too good to be true, it generally is.
Money for like scams may be alluring, but their main goal is to deceive you into parting with your money or personal information. It’s critical to be wary of unsolicited offers, wary of too-good-to-be-true claims, and never to divulge personal information or pay money upfront to safeguard yourself from these frauds. If you are a victim of money fraud, notify the appropriate authorities, contact your bank, change your passwords, and practice caution going forward. Furthermore, adopting excellent social media safety practices like creating secure passwords, being selective about whom you connect with, and turning on two-factor authentication can help shield you from various online dangers. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your personal information from money like scams and other types of online fraud.
Author : Tanushree Saxena, Trainer, CyberPeace