Digital Deceptions Part 2: Help Protect Yourself from Fraudster “Friends” on Social Media

August 25, 2023 |
Article | 5 min
| Personal Insights

Bad actors have more than one tactic to get your attention on social media – they may also try to get their victims to join in on bank fraud schemes. Don’t become a victim of these fraudsters and their schemes. Read on to learn how to help protect yourself.

Scammers are using social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and even Telegram to convince unsuspecting victims to participate in illegal activities.

Look out for these three common social engineering schemes:

  • Money Mule Schemes
    One prevalent scam on social media is the money mule scheme. Scammers may approach you through fake accounts or via a romance scam, promising easy money for simple tasks like receiving and transferring funds. It is crucial to remember that involvement in such activities is illegal and can result in severe consequences. Be cautious of any unsolicited offers involving quick cash and refrain from sharing your bank account details with others.
  • Pig Butchering
    Another deceptive practice gaining popularity is the pig butchering scam. Scammers exploit their victims’ trust by convincing them to provide their bank account information under the guise of an investment, often in cryptocurrency. Always verify the authenticity of any investment opportunities, especially in cryptocurrency, or fundraising campaigns before making any contributions.
  • Card Cracking
    Card cracking is a bank fraud scheme where an organized ring of scammers finds accomplices on social media accounts. They may ask you for your bank account and debit card information or ask you to open a new account for them, promising quick and easy money. Once the new account is opened, the fraudster instructs the depositing of counterfeit checks in the account and the use of debit card to withdraw funds, leaving you holding the bag for the overdraft.

What else does Bank of Blue Valley, a division of HTLF Bank recommend you do to help protect yourself?

  • Be vigilant: Scrutinize any unsolicited messages, friend requests or advertisements related to easy money or investments. As always, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Verify sources: Research and verify the legitimacy of any person or organization before engaging in financial transactions or sharing personal information. Check for official websites, contact information and independent reviews. There is no such thing as “quick and easy money.”
  • Protect personal information: Avoid sharing sensitive information such as bank account details, social security numbers or card information with people you’ve “met” on social media platforms, no matter how long you’ve been interacting.
  • Report suspicious activities: If you encounter any potential scam activities, report them to the social media platform and your local law enforcement agencies.

Scammers are constantly evolving their tactics, targeting unsuspecting bank customers to commit fraud. By staying informed and verifying sources, you can help protect yourself from falling victim to these schemes. Stay alert, be skeptical and help safeguard yourself from bank fraud schemes on social media. More information on these scams and others can be found on the bank’s Fraud Protection page.