Scams This Week 4/12/22

April 12, 2022

Social Media scams are happening every day and targeting every demographic. Most scams investigators are tasked with revolve around an "imposter," or a scammer pretending to be someone they're not.

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"Catfish" Profiles: For social media, scams often comes in the form of a "catfish" profile. Scammers have discovered a multitude of ways to gain your trust and steal your money and information, but there are some serious red flags you can look out for when you meet someone new on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or any communication based social media site.

  • The user only has one or two photos which are likely very professional, almost model-like.
  • The person has multiple profiles, some real, some fake.
  • You find a lot of one-sided posts from the user. People aren't interacting back.
  • Their posts don't contain personal content.
  • They're following hundreds of people or pages but only have a few friends.
  • They send unsolicited friend requests with links.
  • They send messages with very poor grammar and use of language.
  • They initiate the conversation and quickly send you messages that are intimate and explicit.
  • The user is someone famous that you have never met and they contact you out of the blue.
  • If you're chatting with them on a dating site, they will not have the ability to call you on the phone or do a video chat. They will come up with many excuses to avoid another form of communication.
  • Sometimes, scammers will hack or "catfish" someone you know. If you're "friend" has created a new profile and is contacting you seemingly out of nowhere, be cautious and look for any of the red flags listed above. Even if the random message or "cold contact" is coming from your friend's original profile, they may have been hacked. Before you reply and especially before you share any funds or information, send them a text or give them a call to verify if it's them.

If you find a fake profile report it to the platform they're using. Each social media site has a reporting feature for these types of scam profiles.

Contact: Boise Police Media Relations

(208) 570-6180 | BPDMedialine@cityofboise.org

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