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Every month that passes online scammers get more sophisticated in their perpetual arms race with tech companies, law enforcement and ordinary internet users.
In 2023 even some scams experts have been shocked by the depth’s cybercriminals will plummet to steal our cash. Scammers are now resorting to posting viral fake missing persons appeals on social media and creating phoney apps loaded with malware.
However, a recent one that you need to be aware of are fake appeal for help scams.
These scams are normally through Facebook or social media sites, where scammers will post content that will be noticed and ask for it to be shared. They’ll post something like “man with dementia goes missing, look out for him & share this post widely.”
Without thinking twice, most people would share this immediately to Facebook groups or to others, commenting if they’ve seen them and tagging friends. Then, when the post has gained a lot of recognition, the creator of the fake post will completely change the post to a post promoting their scam. The large number of likes and shares that stay on the post will then lend credibility to the fraud.
This despicable scam relies on responsible citizens liking and sharing posts to help – which they do in large numbers.
- To avoid perpetuating a scam or unwittingly participating in stalking or harassment you’re best off only sharing official posts such as those posted by a police force account or the Missing People charity.
- Policing authorities warn that you should never like or share a post that has the comments turned off.