Snapchat is one of the most commonly used social media programs, with nearly 400 million daily active users, most of which are teenagers and young adults. However, because of its popularity, it has become a top target for scammers, hackers, and online criminals.
Snapchat scams drive victims into parting with cash, disclosing personally identifying information (PII) used for identity theft, and sending intimate photographs that can be used as leverage in blackmail and extortion.
How do Snapchat scams work?
Snapchat scams are dishonest tactics that con artists use to steal your private information or fool you into handing them money. Snapchat scammers encounter users and continually adopt friendly and trustworthy individuals. Additionally, they might carry out phishing attacks to collect personally identifying information or seize control of their account and exploit it for additional schemes.
Law enforcement agencies have accused Snapchat scammers of hacking and identity theft, extortion, forgeries, harassment, and computer crimes involving children. Snapchat and other social media platforms are prevalent with con artists because they make it simple to set up fake profiles.
How To Identify A Fake From a Real Snapchat Account?
Like Instagram, Snapchat has a reasonable share of social media influencers, making it challenging to distinguish between “genuine” accounts and scammers. The perfect technique to ward off individuality theft and Snapchat scams is to report fraudsters before they risk conning you online. Here are several indicators that can assist you in distinguishing between genuine and fake accounts:
- Verify their Snap rating:
If they are actively utilizing the Snapchat platform, this will allow you to reveal it. If someone asserts to be an influencer but only has a Snapchat score of a few hundred, they’re probably a Snapchat scam.
- Have you seen the Snapchat maps?
Does their profile’s stated area correspond to where they are? This feature will help you to identify whether it a legal or not.
- Search Google Images from their profile or story:
Scammers will take pictures from other websites and utilize them for their bogus profiles. Google Search Images can be used to find the origin of the picture.
- Find out if they use Bitmoji:
A Bitmoji is a cartoon character associated with a user’s personality. Since they are so familiar among Snapchat users, the absence of Bitmoji from a Snapchat account can raise doubts.
- Consider the shared massages:
If someone adds you and starts pinging you with weird links or asking for help, you should block them immediately. The same would happen with your friends. Whether someone you know starts sending you creepy messages, get in touch with them on a different platform and ask them if everything is alright.
Fraudulent accounts continually show attractive individuals and models erupting funds, costly items, and cars. But always remember the proverb, “If it looks too acceptable to be true, it probably is,” when trying to avoid falling victim to Snapchat scams.
How can you safeguard yourself from Snapchat scams:
You risk identity theft and financial fraud if you provide personal information or money to a scammer on Snapchat. Scammers use your information to access your accounts, obtain loans or new credit cards in your name, damage your credit, and steal your money. Here are a few steps that will help you to protect yourself from Snapchat scams is as follows:
Any unsolicited emails or links should be considered with a grain of salt:
Never click on links from strangers (they could lead to fake web pages that steal your personal details or infect your device with malware). Trust your instinct if a friend messages you and appear weird. The scammers might be hacked their account.
Check your financial statements and credit report frequently:
Scammers are always interested in your financial accounts. So look out for the indicative symptoms of identity theft, such as odd charges on your bank statement or accounts that you don’t know. An identity theft protection service can monitor your credit and financial information and inform you if there is any suspicious activity takes place.
Think about enrolling in identity theft protection:
Some of the firm’s identity theft protection keeps an eye on your most private details, online accounts, and financial transactions for indications of Snapchat scams. In addition, these firms assist you in taking immediate action if a Snapchat scammer attempts to access your accounts or finances.
How To Stop Snapchat scams:
- Even whether they come from your friends (whose accounts might have been hacked) or an email that appears to be from Snapchat, always be wary of links and QR codes in messages. Utilizing a VPN with antivirus software could increase security. This will automatically prevent malicious and phishing websites for you.
- Even if they pretend to be someone you might know, never accept friend requests from strangers or add them to your friend list.
- If you notice suspicious conduct, text, email, or contact your friends. Notifying them that their account might have been compromised
- Never divulge your login information or believe threatening communications that purport to be from Snapchat. For instance, Snapchat will never ask for your security password or disclose your private photographs.
- Always choose a strong password to stop scammers from breaking into your account. Use at least ten different upper and lowercase characters, numerals, and symbols in a distinctive, challenging combination. Never use this password for another account. Instead, use a password manager to keep track of these lengthy passwords.
- Install two-factor authentication, but skip SMS. By sending a specific code to your device each time you log in, 2FA increases the security of your Snapchat account. However, hackers can bypass SMS authentication if they acquire entrance to your mobile. So use an authenticator app instead, such as Google.
- Change the privacy options. Decrease the number of individuals who can send you Snaps, access your Stories, see you in Quick Add, and locate you on Snapchat Map.
- Maintain the contact information for your account, including your email and phone. If you ever lose entry to your Snapchat account, this will assist in proving your ownership of it.
These safety guidelines ensure that you and your teen can still enjoy Snapchat without endangering their identity or financial data.
Snapchat scams are dishonest methods con artists employ to obtain your personal information or trick you into giving them money. By being safe on Snapchat, you can guard against identity theft and financial fraud. Your credit report and bank statements can be monitored for you by an identity theft protection service. Pick a secure password to prevent scammers from accessing your account. Never share your login credentials or take any threatening messages you may get from Snapchat at face value. Keep your account’s email and phone numbers handy if you ever lose access.