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Scammers are turning to social media to steal money and do harm

Quizzes Test How Well You Can Spot Fake Content On Social Media
Posted at 5:00 AM, Oct 25, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS — Social media is climbing the ladder of best places for scammers to work.

In the day in age where nearly everyone has some form of social media, scammers aren’t missing an opportunity to strike.

There are several ways these fraudsters are working, and Tim Maniscalo with the Better Business Bureau said a new one is starting to ramp up.

Maniscalo said most of the time the scams happen on Facebook Marketplace.

In an attempt to get your information, scammers want to make sure you’re real by sending a verification code to your cell phone. Any time someone sends you a verification code, the BBB says you should be alarmed.

Experts believe the scammers are using your phone number and that verification code to set up a Google Voice account under your name so they can do illegal dealings under the guise of you.

Google is aware of the scam and said they are working to get folks their accounts back and get a handle on this new scam.

Another scam Maniscalo said is happening even more frequently than the verification code involves scammers pretending to buy an item, sending a digital payment that’s more than the asking price, and then asking you to send the extra money back as they cancel their payment to you.

So you’re still stuck with the item you were trying to sell and out however much money you sent back to them.

"Looking at someone's profile is also a very good way to kind of check people out just to see does it look right. Does it look like something that is legitimate out there? It's a great way to sell things, but there's a lot of scammers out there, also," Maniscalo said.

Maniscalo recommended making transactions in person so you don’t get scammed out of your money. However, you need to be even more cautious doing it that way.

A lot of police departments have safe exchange zones outside their stations, that provides you with a well-lit area to meet that has a video surveillance area.

Unfortunately, today we all have to be a little more cautious because scammers are working quickly and changing their tactics all the time.