As a Digital marketer and Social media entrepreneur, I have encountered several scammers who go about sharing spammy links and fake news in order to steal users' private information, hack their accounts, and even dupe them.
If you are a regular Facebook user, you would have received messages from people who tell you to send your account password and username in order to activate a free browsing cheat on Facebook for you. Sometimes it might even be your friends asking you to click a particular link which in turn hijack your account.
How about the spam folder on our email accounts? Gmail does its best to filter emails and protect you from scammers. But then, some of them are so smart enough to bypass this security firewall and send you messages claiming that your Facebook account has been hacked you need to click an activation link to recover the account.
More so, WhatsApp and Telegram have become one of the most used social platform for fraudulent accounts and users with different messages asking you to click a link to get free 50GB data and more, messages asking you to click a link to get free cash or giveaways etc.
Below are 5 highlighted ways by which you can know and avoid spammy posts and fraudulent links on social media.
- Check the Source: Imagine someone you don't have on your contact list and has never chatted with you before sending you a message to click a link for a promo or offer and you ignorantly click thinking they want the best for you. That will be a very grave mistake. Check the source of the link. See if you know or have spoken with them before. Check their accounts to verify if they are legit or not before you proceed.
- Ask questions: If it's a scammer asking you to click a link, they most probably know how to cajole you. So ask questions from someone else. Perhaps on your WhatsApp status or Facebook wall, quote the message sent to you and ask your friends if they have received similar messages and how legit it is.
- Run a Fast check: If the message is a news you come across on Twitter, Facebook etc, go to verified sources and prominent news platforms e. g Punch, Daily Trust, The Cable and the likes. Look through their platform or run a search to check if similar news exist.
- Beware of shortened links: While this is not a pointer to link shorteners being spammy, it is necessary to take a second look at a shortened link before you click. Shortened links are a good way for bloggers and digital marketers to track activities but scammers also use them to hide their original links. Examples are link starting with bit.ly, t.co etc.
In conclusion, When you are in doubt about the legitimacy of a post or link mostly offering something nice, kindly ignore. Take the listed precautions and if they fail those tests, stay away, delete the message and even block the sender if you can. Stay safe and stay secure.