Monday, August 15, 2022

Beware of Fake Social Media Accounts: Over 1 Billion Evicted in 2021

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) – Fake social media accounts are on the rise. From well-known brands to famous to common people, everyone is being hacked.

This is a growing trend as criminals seek additional ways to find new victims.

Internet scammers are working overtime on social media to create fake accounts. They are often impersonating average people.

“They actually go to great lengths to reverse engineer who is your friend and create a profile so that it looks legit,” said cybersecurity expert Craig Petronella. He has written many books about hacking.

Recently, consumer investigator Steve Sbraccia was victimized when someone created a fake Twitter account claiming to be his professional account.

The fake account used a photo of him that was stolen from the Internet and a fake resume, which listed several TV stations where Sbraccia allegedly worked. None were true.

The fake Twitter account also falsely claimed that he was a West Virginia alum. It had a picture of a pair of albino tigers and was declared an animal lover.

Meanwhile, his real Twitter account explicitly states that he doesn’t put personal information on his work account—that’s strictly for news tweets.

What are these scammers getting through impersonation? Petronella said it was easy.

“The purpose is for bad actors to trick your friends,” he said.

Specifically, they use fake social media accounts to reveal things like personal information, credit card numbers and other data to you that can be used to steal money.

You are the first line of defense in keeping fake social media accounts offline.

“Everyone needs to constantly search your name on social media and Google to make sure that whatever is coming back is really you,” Petronella said.

Fake accounts are a problem on all platforms. Facebook removed 1.3 billion fake accounts in 2021. Instagram handled 95 million and Twitter 20 million.

In Sbracia’s case, he took to Twitter to tackle the fake account.

He clicked those three dots on the top right photo of the fake account. This brought up a page that gives a list of options. One of them is, “Someone is pretending to be me.”

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Shortly after sending that report, Twitter responded by email asking Sbraccia to upload the document because it wanted to make sure it wasn’t a scammer trying to delete the real account.

That document involved uploading a government-issued ID to prove it was valid.

Several hours later, Twitter responded that the fake account had been taken down.

Twitter support too provides a webpage,

Facebook and Instagram have similar systems that allow you to report fake accounts. As for Facebook, you can find information about fake accounts on its webpage. It also has a link to report a fake account.

Although Instagram is owned by Facebook, it has a separate webpage where fake accounts can be reported. That page also has guidance on what to do about an offending account.

You should also report the fake to the FBI’s Internet Crime Center—especially if you’ve lost money to social media scammers. The FBI has the resources to pursue these criminals.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
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