UAB researchers say social media scams common among local community groups

Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 10:20 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - UAB expert Dr. Ragib Hasan is tracking social media scams and he sees them the most in local neighborhood watch, market place and community groups.

He said the scammers are hacking your friends and family, then using their account to try and scam you. They ‘ll make a fake post, pretending to be your friend, trying to sell an item for extra cheap, or ask for baby or pet name advice to learn your potential security questions, or they’ll ask you to answer an easy puzzle.

Hasan said the posts seem innocent and people fall for them, because they appear to be a post from a friend or loved one. He said all it takes is one comment and then the scammer will be in your inbox, trying to further the scam. He said anytime a high priced item is being advertised cheaper, it is likely a scam.

“I see a lot of people, especially people in need, they go in and they comment in there,” Dr. Hasan said. “Each time the scammer asks them to contact them through messages. Anytime there is a ridiculous offer of money in exchange for basic simple information, probably that’s a sign of fraud, even if it is someone you know. It is most likely their account is getting hacked.”

Dr. Hasan said he is finding that the scammers are local and global, but if you fall for one, there is usually not much you can do. He said that he also finds that reporting the account doesn’t work, so you have to be vigilant about not falling for them.

Click here to learn more about the online scams circulating locally.

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