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Social Media Scammers
In October of 2020, the Federal Trade Commission reported that in the first six months there had already been a loss of $117 million due to social media scams. Those losses are said to be triple the amount of money reported stolen than previous years. Facebook Marketplace and other social media marketplaces have had an increase in online shoppers due to the pandemic quarantines, which has made the access for potential scams triple in amount.
 
Tips on how to avoid social media scammers:
  • Facebook suggests staying away from pages representing large companies, organizations or public figures that are not verified.
  • Ricardo Lovett, from SneezeGuardEZ OFW LLC. suggests that if the company or person is not able to contact you by phone, dig into their background for verification that they are reputable. Also, if they have a generic email address, call the company and ask if they employ (name and email being used), and if they do not, that solidifies the person is a scammer.
  • Most companies have watermarks on their photos. If you are not certain that the company or person you are in contact with is a scammer or not, trace the watermark on their photos from their page or website. This will tell you if they came from other pages or websites, indicating if they are using stolen photos or not. Additionally, that also helps with determining whether said company or individual is reputable.
  • If you are already skeptical about the situation, and the company or individual directs you to a website, double check the domain name. You can use
Visit https://whois.domaintools.com/ to find out who the domain name is registered to, where they are, and how old the website is.
 
Sources:
https://www.facebook.com/help/1674717642789671/
Ricardo Lovett, SneezeGuardEZ OFW LLC.
https://time.com/5921820/facebook-shopping-scams-holidays-covid-19/
https://www.hbc.bank/11-ways-to-check-if-a-website-is-legit-or-trying-to-scam-you/