Fake Facebook scams on the rise
Scams involving fake Facebook pages appear to be on the rise.
According to figures from Netsafe, the number of complaints about what it calls "survey/prize" scams the online safety organisation received doubled during the course of last year.
The number of reported cases rose from 298 reported in Q1 (1 July to 30 September 2019) up to 589 in Q2 (1 October to 31 December 2019). The final quarter figures are still being tallied but from December 17 to January 17 the agency reports 131 complaints so far.
Netsafe figures include scams outside social media (predominantly text message and email) but anecdotally these scams are finding a home on social media, in particular the ever-popular Facebook.
Auckland man Dylan Reeve catalogued a series of fake Pak N Save pages he found on Facebook all offering prizes and vouchers for filling in details. On January 15, the first day he looked, the sites were doing a roaring trade.
"In the roughly 45 minutes since I first looked, these links have received another 130 and 200 clicks, respectively." By the end of the day the sites he found had garnered 7,700 clicks between them.
CERT NZ's quarterly report into online safety suggests frauds and scams are increasing across the board with phishing and credential harvesting up 27% in Q3 last year (1 July to 30 September) for a total loss of $3.8 million.
Users who believe they may be affected by scams and fraud are recommended to report fake pages and the like to either Netsafe or CERT. Later this month, Netsafe is hosting Safer Internet Day, an international event designed to promote a better online experience. On 11 February more than 50 nations and tens of thousands of companies around the world will do their part to help promote safe practices online.
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