‘Too good to be true’ deals usually are, warn Suffolk Trading Standards
PUBLISHED: 14:31 30 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:59 30 June 2020
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Social media users are being warned to look out for scams designed to rip people off or steal their identities.
Product promotions, shopping deals and personality tests are among tools used by scammers to trick users into handing over money and person details.
The warning coincides with World Social Media Day – observed on June 30 to recognise the influence of platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on global communication.
Social media users can take steps to avoid falling prey to various scams, including ‘too good to be true’ offers exploiting the public’s response to global events.
Just this week, Suffolk Trading Standards alerted Facebook users to a fake Carphone Warehouse page offering a free television in return for sharing a post.
The page was set up for ‘like-farming’, which uses interactions to harvest personal data.
Suffolk Trading Standards said: “Before liking a page, especially a big business like Carphone Warehouse, check if it has a blue tick. This means the page has been verified by Facebook.
“You can also look at the page transparency to see when it was created. The real page was created in February 2009.
“Look at the page history, and the other posts on the page. Does it look genuine?”
If you come across a fake page on Facebook, report it by clicking the three dots in the upper right-hand corner and selecting the ‘give feedback’ option.
Users should also be careful about giving away personal information – especially when completing surveys and quizzes – which can help scammers build a bigger picture for identity fraud.
Suffolk Trading Standards said: “Although these might be a bit of fun and pass a little bit of time, you could be giving away a lot of personal info to scammers.”
Officials have also received reports of fake adverts for caravans in response to increased interest in ‘staycation’ holidays.
Lockdown restrictions are often given as a reason for buyers being unable to view vehicles in person, with payments usually requested via bank transfer rather than via a recommended payment method.
Fraudsters may still request the buyer uses PayPal, but will fail to send an invoice and then contact the buyer with a reference and bank account number to pay for a vehicle that never arrives.
You can report scams by calling 0808 223 1133.
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