Dec 15, 2016 06:37 AM EST

Social Media Security Tips: 6 Scams You Need To Avoid This Holiday Season

People should be familiar to different kinds of scams, especially those from social media this Holiday Season. It is important to know all of these because even the intelligent people becomes victim of these thieves. According to Better Business Bureau, four out of five people with College Degree or with Bachelor's Degree from North America are prey of the scammers.

The so called "social-media borne scams" are those that came from the e-mail or fake news that entice the people easily from Facebook or other social media platform. Inc. elaborates these social-media borne scams for people to understand it and to be aware especially during this Holiday Season.

1. Fake Surveys, Giveaways, and Contests

One of the scams to deceive people is giving them some giveaways that they will get when joining a contest. Reportedly, the target of these scammers are those who participates in the contest in exchange and a promise for shopping rewards. It is like a "Hatchimal Scam," thieves will ask their prey to make some actions, in return, they will get the Hatchimals or "toy to get." The scam will start when people visits an unfamiliar site that invites to do the survey; when it is finished, they will ask for e-mail address and other personal information.

To be sure and to be safe, never click the survey if you have doubts about it. Find out if the webpage that you visit that do the survey is legitimate or verified. Just remember; if the contest is too good to be true that you already have doubts about it, then exclude yourself from joining.

2. Bogus Gift Card Offers

This Holiday Season, there are many gift cards that often used to shop. But the scammers also use this opportunity to deceive people; not only those cards that are fake. People must be aware that the cards may be legitimate and seems to be verified, but this might be purchased from stolen credit cards or from some kind of money laundering. If the card is not honored when people used it, the "seems to be" legitimate gift cards guarantees money back. But when people claims it on the store, the card will appear to be invalid.

If this is the case, it's better that gift cards must be purchased in a legitimate store or much better if it came from the card's vendor.

3. Fake Gift Card Number Generators

Gift card number generators are relevant on social media right now, as per ZeroFOX. The legitimate gift card number generators are the codes that people used to purchased such items. However, the scammers manipulate these gift card number generator to guess some valid codes. This is an illegal act because it is stealing one's right and legal property. The scammers will infect the gift card number generator with such ransomware or malware so that it will expose the fact that other people used it.

4. Fake Coupons and Discounts

During Holiday Season, there are a lot of coupons, deals, and discounted items offered in social media like Facebook. Once the link was posted, it has the chance to go viral and can deceive many people. Another case is from Twitter, those accounts with no followers or they are not following other people to keep their account active, this seems to be concerning especially if the account promote discounts and promos by adding the link of the site on the bio section. Before clicking the site, think first if this is really real and verified. Some links that are not familiar often delivers malwares, infects the device, or worse it can hack the account to steal personal information.

5. Fake Applications

Today, shopping using the mobile phone becomes one of the trend. People sometimes want "online shopping" because it is less hassle and can save time and energy. However, be careful on the application that you use for shopping. Before downloading these shopping application, check the description first and if it is linked or has certain partnership to any verified company. Though hackers can linked such legitimate companies to the shopping application, it is still hard for them to publish it and chances to get caught is high if they did this kind of action.

6. Fake News Stories

Recently, fake news started to spread on social media, especially after the US Presidential Election. Aside from this, fake news spread easily because these were just copy from another, not hard to write, and the headlines are catchy in which news becomes viral. These fake news will direct the people to other site to infect the device and can do the hacking much easier. Fake news are also stories that create some sort of promises to buyers, offers an amazing deals, gift certificates, and such. To be sure, go to Google search to verify if these news are true or just "fake news." Just be sure to get the right source from the legitimate site.

In addition to these scams, Jobs & Hire also reported about the "Secret Sister Gift Exchange," and "Secret Wine Bottle Exchange." These scams are on Facebook which many users happens to fall for it.

Holiday season means enjoyment. However, before having some fun make sure that you are not a victim of such scams. These will continue even if it's not Holiday Season. It's still important to remain safe and secured after all.

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