Top tip corner: Spot the difference (scammers edition)

An unfortunate reality of our increasingly-digital world is that scammers are everywhere. They lurk in dark corners, always on the lookout for an opportunity to separate you from your personal details and funds.

There are many kinds of scams out there. Whether it’s selling bogus products, advertising fake giveaways or imitating a legitimate organisation, scammers are a resilient and adaptable bunch – and remarkably resourceful.

Fraudulent schemes are now so commonplace that IT security consultant, IT Governance, publishes new phishing scam reports every month. Their latest report details false concert and festival tickets, fake PlayStation giveaways and fake SMS messages that imitate correspondence from banks.

FAKE-book pages

Unfortunately, scammers thrive on social media and Facebook is no exception. Scammers frequently use the platform to set up fake pages and imitate brands and companies. According to The New York Times, Facebook took down over 2.8 billion fake accounts in 2019. This came to roughly 7.7 million per day.

But how do these kinds of schemes lure in victims in the first place? No one would willingly give their details away. Imagine if you saw a post from your bank asking its customers to verify their details on Facebook. Instant red light!

Therefore, Facebook fraudsters often attract their victims using fake competitions. People love a good giveaway (when it’s real, that is) and it’s easy to get lured in by fun prizes.

Let’s take Southwest Airlines, for instance. It warned customers of a Facebook scam posing as the airline with a fake giveaway. The bogus page in question claimed that it wanted to show appreciation to its customers by giving away 500 free tickets to any destination. All you had to do was share and comment on the post, and then visit the link to validate your entry. And just like that, fraudsters have got your details.

Getting smarter

A lot of people get deceived online because scammers are (and it hurts to pay them any kind of compliment) extremely devious. They’ve become a lot better at imitating businesses online. Scammers will steal logos, photographs and graphics to make the page look like it belongs to an official organisation.

As a result, people may struggle to figure out whether it is the real deal or a fraudster up to no good.

Spot the difference

So, how can we truly know when a page is real or not?

Let’s play spot the difference. We’re going to show you two Facebook posts – one legit, one a fraudulent imitation. See if you can spot the 5 main differences between them!

Think you’ve got them all? Come back next week to find out the answers! :eyes:

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