Some swindlers hack accounts of people and tap into their contacts to try to ask for money while disguising themselves as the account owner.
Here are some tips on how to spot if your friends and family members accounts have been hacked:
- They are asking for money
- They are talking to you in a different tone. Check your past conversations if this is really how they talk to you
- They are talking to you on a social media channel that you don’t usually use
When in doubt, DON’T SEND MONEY RIGHT AWAY. Check to validate if you are talking to your friend or family:
- Contact the person by calling or through a different channel. Ask your friend or relative directly if they messaged you asking for help.
Check where they are asking you to send the money to. Hackers will ask you to send money to an account different from your friend or family member’s account.
How to avoid being a victim of hacked accounts
Here are some tips to avoid having your social media account from being hacked:
- Don’t click on links unless you are sure it is safe. Hackers may send links to you to get your personal information. Verify a website’s security by doing the following:
- Check if the site uses https://, this means that the website employs a form of encryption to transfer data
- Check if there is a padlock icon beside the website’s browser address
- Double-check if the URL is spelled correctly. Hackers may use URL’s such as yah00.com instead of yahoo.com to trick you into giving them your information
- Use a website security checker such as Google Safe Browsing to verify a site’s legitimacy and reputation.
- Do a security checkup of your accounts
- Update your password regularly.
- Log in to your social media accounts only on the devices that you own
- Always log out of your accounts after using
- Enable Two Factor Authentication. Two Factor Authentication is an extra layer of protection of accounts on top of your username and password because you need to provide another piece of information such as a code, or your biometrics before being able to login. Go to the Help Center of your accounts to check how to enable this.
- Never share your personal information such as your address, phone number, and email address. Use the inbox of the social media accounts to communicate with other users.
Never share your sensitive personal information such as your race, religion, or political views. Doing this will make it easier for scammers to steal your identity