Usually, when an offer is “too-good-to-be-true” it most likely isn’t true at all. This is a lesson that many social media users have learned the hard way.
Last week, a dozen fake accounts for student lending giant Sallie Mae emerged all over the social media website Instagram. The fraudulent accounts claimed that, due to the government shutdown, Sallie Mae was offering a student loan forgiveness program that would erase the debt of the first 150,000 graduates who applied. Those who took these sites up on their fake offers were asked to provide private information, such as Social Security numbers and birth dates. This sensitive information can be used by the creators of these fake accounts to commit identity theft and other forms of online fraud. After the fake accounts were discovered, the real Sallie Mae updated its official Facebook page to remind users that the company will never ask for your personal information through social media sites.
While many businesses offered special deals during the shutdown, wiping away the debt of 150,000 students would fall under the category of “too-good-to-be-true.” These types of social media scams are on the rise. Many reputable companies utilize social media sites such as Twitter or Instagram for marketing and customer service operations. Some companies even notify followers of special deals or promotions. As a result of this trend, there has been an emergence of fake accounts that scammers use to try to trick customers with phony offers.
In general, be wary of offers that seem “too-good-to-be-true.” There is a very high chance that they are false offers created by scammers. Also, remember that any “official” account that asks for your password, Social Security number, address or other private information via social media should be immediately red flagged as a possible scam.
Visit Scambook’s website for more information regarding the fake Sallie Mae accounts.