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Social media scams

Criminals are pretending to be famous people in order to scam people. Fraudsters use famous people to trap social media followers in cyber scams, such as “get rich quick” and bogus investment schemes that appear to have been endorsed by famous people such as Sir Richard.

LinkedIn members are also being targeted by fraudsters who have been hacking into legitimate users accounts, and sending victims what appear to be genuine emails and messages from victims known trusted contacts or celebrities. The messages or emails ask the victim to view a document on OneDrive, and displays details of a hacked US celebrity’s website. Once the link is opened it redirects the victim to a website and the victim’s username and password is given to the fraudster.

Another LinkedIn scam is where members are being approached by individuals claiming to be an employee of a particular company, when in actual fact, they are not.

How to protect yourself

  • Celebrities such as Sir Richard Branson for example, will generally not direct message you on social media platforms. Be careful.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Don’t click on the link offered on the pop up add.
  • Check if the company has an official website and social media accounts.
  • Check on Google and the Internet search tools to see if any scams have been reported.
  • Limit the contact information on your linked in profile .
  • Ensure you turn on LinkedIn’s secure browsing mode.
  • Be cautious when applying for jobs via social media websites.
  • Never accept connection requests from people you don’t know.
  • Ensure your operating and security software are up to date.
  • Ensure your passwords are “strong” and change them regularly

Concerned you have been scammed?

If you have been a victim of fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk *. Action Fraud is the reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Reports of fraud and any other financial crime in Scotland should be reported to Police via 101. However, if debit cards, online banking or cheques are involved in the scam your first step should to contact your bank or credit card company.

*These links to external sites are provided as a courtesy and we are not responsible for the content of these sites or any problems encountered whilst applying these steps and we are not able to provide any technical support for such problems

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