The potential dangers of using Snapchat

The potential dangers of using Snapchat

Snapchat is a multimedia platform where users share messages, photos, and videos online. This online communication app is more popular among teenagers. Scammers who work their way through social media and online communication apps consider Snapchat as a potential field for perpetrating mischief while utilizing its vast popularity. Therefore, it is advisable to go through the basic strategies these scammers implement in these various types of Snapchat scams.

Snapchat scams include,

  • Impersonating someone from the victims’ acquaintances,
  • Online romance scams,
  • Messages providing malicious links,
  • Charity scams,
  • When the target is the victims’ relative,
  • Creating fraudulent websites,

Impersonating someone from the victims’ acquaintances:

Impersonation scams have become so common these days that we all know someone who has faced them, and often, unknowingly we are the victims ourselves. In impersonation scams, scammers send messages to their targets, claiming they are their relative or someone they have already known. They also assert that they are in an emergency situation and need a certain amount of money immediately. As they claim to be someone known to them, the targeted individuals do not think twice before making a transaction and thus lose their hard-earned money forever. Some scammers aim to disappear after collecting more money. They do not ask for money directly but claim that they have accidentally forwarded a message that is supposed to contain a one-time password. They intend to get access to the victim’s bank account and, hence, ask them to deliver the message back to them. Therefore, it is advisable that you verify before making any transactions when a known person messages you from an unknown number.

Online romance scams:

Perpetrators of romance scams generally initiate their operation on online dating apps as it is easy to victimize the people there. Talking and building rapport with strangers is a common thing on an online dating apps, and scammers seek the process as an opportunity to commit forgery. They strike up a relationship through some dating app and slowly insinuate into other communication platforms like Snapchat and Whatsapp to get closer to them. When they sense that the trust has been built, they claim that they are in urgent need of money and ask the victims to assist them with it. Sometimes they show a great deal of interest in the stock market and digital currencies like bitcoins. They gradually mold victims’ interests in these. After making them invest in these, they try to garner their money fictitiously.

Messages providing malicious links:

Scammers sometimes generate fictitious links and spread them through Snapchat. By clicking on these links, Snapchat users get redirected to a website that initiates a quiz competition or other games like that. These fraudulent websites ask for users’ identification and personal information in order to let them participate. As the users provide their personal details, scammers garner them and use them for their own profit. Sometimes these scammers offer victims money for winning and demand bank details to initiate a transfer of the prize money. They also promise to offer them more if they give their reference to others. These messages, provided with malicious links, easily get forwarded by Snapchat users. But, one should never share their personal information with these links, no matter how exciting rewards they offer.

Charity scams:

In a charity scam, scammers profit by leveraging people’s will to help others. To garner money, they claim that they are an agent of a renowned charitable organization that helps people in need. They falsely spread messages through online communication platforms like Snapchat, putting up pictures of actual victims and fooling people in masses. They even hold fake campaigns to trick others. Sometimes they target individuals by telling them that they are going through a predicament and need donations to overcome it. More acquisitive scammers resort to crowdfunding organizations to raise campaigns and disperse the donation links via Snapchats.

When the target is the victims’ relative:

Another kind of impersonation scam is when scammers fraudulently get access to victims’ Snapchat accounts and set the hacked account owners’ relatives and friends as their targets. In this scam, the scammers impersonate the victims themselves. The message victims’ acquaintances, who are at the top of their recent chats, claim that they are in great trouble and need money immediately. The messages they send their targets create a sense of urgency. They rush others to make payments so that they do not get any time to make any fair judgment or verify matters. People easily fall for this ingenious Snapchat scam.

Creating fraudulent websites:

Scammers sometimes create websites, imitating the name and design of the Snapchat app. They even copy its logo so that people misinterpret it as a Snapchat website. Scammers then send their target links to their fictitious websites through emails. Through emails, they make them believe that their Snapchat account can get hacked anytime if they do not secure it by going through the provided links. Through these fraudulent websites, scammers garner victims’ account information and eventually gain access to it. Scammers may also garner this information by luring them, saying they have won a lottery or discount coupons, etc.

One can avoid these Snapchat scams by ignoring unsolicited messages and friend requests. If someone asks you to make deposits, unknown or known, verify before you make any transactions. A skeptical approach when you talk to strangers on online communication platforms can save you from falling into the trap laid by scammers. They may not be someone you are thinking of. Romance or dating scams are prevalent in the field of Snapchat as well. Be wary of these scammers before handing over any personal information to them. Block the accounts immediately whenever you feel anything suspicious about them.

Moreover, Snapchat scams can happen even outside the app. Be wary of unsolicited emails which claim that your account can be compromised if you do not do things as directed by them or when they ask you to open the link they have provided in the email.

Conclusion:

Independent research serves as an excellent countermeasure to prevent ingenious scams. Educate yourself about scams prevalent on Snapchat. Go through the reviews before you install the app. Many fund recovery companies are available that help people recover the funds they lost in forgery. One can easily find them on the internet and seek help.