An exclusive TechRadar Pro study found that social media users are becoming more adept at spotting fraud, but many still need to stay vigilant.
First, respondents were asked which social media platforms they use. Facebook took first place with almost 80% of activity on the social networking site. Instagram was next with 68.1%, with Tiktok and Twitter battling for third place with almost 50% of users (49.8% and 47.5% respectively).
LinkedIn and WhatsApp rounded out the last two of the major platforms with 35.8% and 33.4% respectively. 6.6% said they used other social media platforms and 3.7% did not use them at all.
The results for the frequency of encountering scams on social platforms were fairly evenly split. Just over a third met with them once a day and just over a quarter once a week. Only 15% said once a month and less than a third said less than a month.
Fraud on social platforms has been on the rise since the pandemic, peaking in 2021 and remaining prominent this year as well. It is not surprising that during the best sales periods, such as Black Friday and the holiday season, there is often an increase in scams.
Fortunately, most felt confident or very confident – 30.9% and 34.4% respectively – that they could identify them. A quarter said a little, and only 10% said not much.
However, this certainty may be inaccurate given that other reports have shown that a large number of users fall for common social media scams such as phishing campaigns and fake gift card offers.
Cryptocurrency scams have also grown in popularity on social media in recent years. Advertisements for fake exchanges will promote “investment opportunities” with the promise of significantly increasing the victim’s wallet. Some even used videos of Elon Musk discussing cryptocurrencies to lure people in.
However, there are many ways to detect social media scams. One of the telltale signs is that if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. Another is to check the address of each link before clicking on it to make sure that it actually leads to the official website of the company in question.
Making sure your site looks professional and free of glaring spelling and grammatical errors is also key to spotting fraudulent sites.