How to stay safe and combat scams on Facebook?
Facebook gets used more than once a day by around 44% of the UK online population, and since the launch of Marketplace in 2016 an increasing number of people are using Facebook to buy items; everything from baby bouncers to garden sheds.
Unfortunately, the rise of buying and selling on Facebook has given opportunists a window to take advantage of the informal nature of Facebook to con people out of their hard-earned cash.
Arro Money’s fraud prevention team see a number of these cases come through where our clients have been taken in by these fraudsters, who often give very plausible and genuine sounding reasons for needing payment in advance or by faster payment.
It’s essential to protect yourself from scams on Facebook and all social media fraud in fact. Here’s some guidance on how to stay safe on Facebook:
- Never ever transfer money to someone you don’t know before you receive a product, and where possible pay when you pick up or receive the item. Once you’ve transferred that money by Faster Payment it’s hard to get it back – in some circumstances you cannot recall these funds.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Plausible reasons people give for selling cheap tickets at half price include family emergencies and illness, people might be supposedly selling the latest iPhone at a third of the price because they were given two for a birthday – maybe this is true but it’s still important to be vigilant – do not part with money if you’re in any doubt at all.
- If a friend messages you via Facebook for help with money, give them a call and check it was them – their profile could have been hacked and you could be helping out a fraudster not a friend.
- If a business you use contacts you via Facebook to change payment details, call the business on a number you already know – not the number on their Facebook page – and ask them to verify the new payment details. They’re page might have been compromised – it is unusual for any business to use social media to share financial details.
Be very aware of how anonymous social media can be and that the person you think you are talking to might not be the person at the other end of the message board.
If you are a victim of social media fraud, you should report the crime as soon as is physically possible, including your bank or e-money issuer and Action Fraud.
For further guidance on protecting yourself against fraud, look at the Take Five to Stop Fraud website https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/
If you are an Arro Money account holder and have been a victim of fraud, get in touch with our customer support team as soon as possible.