How did you do on our Social Media Scams Quiz?
To enhance your understanding, check out the answers to the quiz below as well as our official explanations on why these answers are correct.
Question 1. Often on social media, there are accounts that are referred to as “troll accounts”. What does the term “troll account” mean?
On social media, a troll account refers to an inauthentic social media account that is often created to spread misinformation and distrust. These accounts use tactics such as unsolicited messages, hyper-active accounts, accounts with no profile image, accounts with stolen profile images, or computer generated account names.
Question 2. Which social media platforms have troll accounts?
Trolls have been found to be deployed on every major social media platform, including the three we listed: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. So no matter what social media websites you frequent, remember that there’s a possibility the person on the other end of a profile might not even be real!
Question 3. What is a common characteristic of a troll account?
Although troll accounts vary in terms of content, an easy way to identify a troll account is from its lack of personal information. Most troll accounts tend to focus on politics while leaving out any identifying information about family, school, work, or friends and hobbies.
Some, but not all accounts, like to use photographs of young, photogenic women, but others will use a generic profile picture or have no profile picture at all. To test how well you can spot a troll account, take the quiz here.
Question 4. One tactic scammers use to gain access to your online accounts, like your online banking, is called SIM card swapping (also known as SIM splitting, SIM-jacking, or SIM porting). What is the first sign that your SIM card has been swapped?
SIM card swapping usually happens without your knowledge. And the first sign that someone has swapped or hijacked your SIM card is when your cell phone suddenly stops working and does not allow you to use data, send text messages, or make phone calls.
Some ways to prevent your SIM card from getting swapped is to make sure your online accounts with your cell phone service provider have strong passwords, so a scammer cannot get into your account to steal your SIM card. Read more about how to protect yourself from SIM swapping scams here.
Question 5. Why are scammers targeting SIM cards?
To hijack or switch your SIM card, a scammer will contact your cell phone service provider and pretend to be you, then report that your cell phone was lost or damaged. Next, the scammer will ask the provider to activate a new SIM card connected to your phone number on a new phone — a phone owned by the scammer.
If your cell phone service provider believes the scammer’s story and activates the new SIM card, then the scammer — not you — will get all your text messages, calls, and data on the new phone. From there, the scammer could open new cellular accounts in your name and can gain access to your online accounts that are protected by two-factor authentication as your verification codes will be texted right onto their phone.
Question 6. You are trying to sell your used old tablet online and you receive a reply from a potential buyer who is willing to pay $10 more than your selling price, with the only requirement being that you have to ship the product to their home. The buyer is not in town at the moment and is willing to mail you a cheque for the iPad. Is this a good idea?
This is a common scam known as the bounced-cheque scam that has affected numerous unsuspecting sellers. Here is a recent story about an artist who lost $12000 through this scam.
The scam works by taking advantage of the lapse of time between when a cheque is deposited and verified. When you cash in a fraudulent cheque, you will see the money immediately in your account, but this money will disappear after a few weeks once your bank discovers that the cheque is fraudulent.
The best way to protect yourself from this scam is to only take payments via e-transfer or cash, or waiting until the cheque has been completely cleared by the bank before shipping the goods. Read more about fraudulent cheques here.
Question 7. You are looking for a new job and you post your updated resume online. Soon, a recruiter reaches out to you and offers an interview, and then hires you two days later. When the first payday arrives, you are given a cheque and are asked to keep some of the money for yourself, and send the rest of the money to a potential client via Western Union. Which detail or details indicate that this job is a scam?
There are many variations of employment scams and this is one of them. Almost everyone posts their resume online these days, so it is very safe to do this. However, most recruiters will not reach out to you first, so be very aware when this happens to you. Be sure to look up the recruiter on LinkedIn or the company directory to make sure it’s legit.
Also, this scam combines the classic bounced-cheque scam with a fake job posting, and the most obvious sign is the fact that you are asked to transfer part of your paycheque to someone else. Here is more information about this specific type of employment scam.
Question 8. Which of these is not a sign of an employment scam?
Asking potential hires to complete small, but unpaid tasks after the interview stage is a common tactic many employers use before making a hiring decision. Although controversial, this is not a solid indication that the job could be a scam.
A good indicator of a job scam is when you are asked to pay for something before you can start working. Unless you have a solid employment contract in your hands and have seen for yourself that the company actually exists, you should not be asked to purchase anything as legitimate companies will not ask you for money.
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