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How scammers exploit LinkedIn, Facebook and 'X' to defraud you


September 18, 2023

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How scammers exploit LinkedIn, Facebook and 'X' to defraud you

Digital miscreants can use social media platforms in many ways to swindle unsuspecting users. Scammers deploy various schemes to steal money and sensitive data, whether it’s regarding a social media marketplace, job opportunities, advertisement or charity request.


The business-oriented social media platform is no stranger to scammers who use the platform to exploit jobseekers. Some of the most popular ruses typically exploit direct messaging, job listings and impersonation.

Fraudsters leverage LinkedIn profiles to enhance their credibility when listing bogus high-paying entry-level positions or work-from-home listings that pay too-good-to-be-true money. They embellish phony profiles with fake credentials, positions and degrees to also carry out crypto and get-rich-quick schemes.

You know it’s a scam if an employer or HR rep asks you for money to get a job!

Facebook (Meta)

With close to 3 billion monthly active users on Facebook, it’s no surprise that scammers have established a highly profitable fraud operation on the beloved social media platform. Some fraudsters focus on swindling Facebook Marketplace users, while taking over accounts or creating fraudulent ones to promote crypto, charity and romance scams.

The influencer era is also aiding the proliferation of scams, with cybercrooks piggybacking on compromised and cloned accounts to reach out to millions of followers and prey on their trusting nature and emotions to make money.

X (formerly known as Twitter)

The most common types of fraud on X include giveaway scams and crypto-doubling scams proliferated via fake accounts designed to resemble those of well-known public figures or businesses. These impostor accounts aim to steal data and money from unsuspecting users and spread the ruse through followers and post sharing.

Social media scams are a persistent challenge that you can combat through awareness and proactive measures such as maintaining good cyber hygiene throughout your digital activities:

· Watch out for impersonation and compromised accounts that can be used to serve scams. Scrutinize all incoming direct messages that include links or promises of guaranteed returns on investments and crypto. Think before clicking any links or downloading attachments onto your device. They could harbor malicious software that can infect your computer with spyware or credential-stealing Trojans.

· Scrutinize all too-good-to-be-true shopping opportunities and never purchase goods from sellers who only accept gift card or wire transfer payments.

· Enable 2FA or MFA (where possible) on all social media accounts and use your privacy settings. Consider setting your profile to private to safeguard your identity and prevent cybercrooks from harvesting your personal information or targeting you with scams. By doing so you are also protecting your friends and family members from individuals who may attempt to impersonate you or use your information to steal from them.

· Use a security solution to protect against phishing, fraudulent links and malware.

· Never share financial info, sensitive data or media files with people you meet online.

· Share less. Just because you’re on social media doesn’t mean you have to expose your entire personal life and overshare information. Scammers typically explore a target profile to gather information about you and adapt their tactics in their fraudulent attempts.

Curious about what the internet knows about you and how scammers can leverage this info?

Bitdefender Digital Identity can help you protect your identity and hunt down any social media impersonators who may try to ruin your reputation. The dedicated identity protection tool maps out your digital footprint, allowing you to easily manage personal data and assess personal data exposure and privacy risks, by offering a trouble-free way to understand how security breaches can individually affect you.

You won’t just stay on top of data breaches and leaks with 24/7 data breach monitoring and real-time alerts for privacy threats, but easily manage your privacy settings on all major social platforms, including LinkedIn, X and Facebook.




Alina is a history buff passionate about cybersecurity and anything sci-fi, advocating Bitdefender technologies and solutions. She spends most of her time between her two feline friends and traveling.

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