BBB Warns Consumers of Social Media IQ Test Traps

  
     
January 28, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Vancouver, BC – Facebook and other social media platforms are a great place to share photos and experiences with friends. However, BBB warns you to be careful with IQ tests, quizzes and other content designed to get you to click on links and provide personal information.

Many apps fall under what has been coined as ‘clickbait’ scams and can do more damage than just cluttering up your Facebook news feed. Some may launch viruses that can damage your computer while others contain spyware that attempt to steal personal information such as credit card numbers and bank account information.

“Without a doubt many of these bring entertainment value to Facebook users and most are likely harmless. At worst fill up your news feed with junk,” says Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for BBB serving Mainland BC. “We would just ask that people be skeptical about anything they click on. The majority are simply fun, but it only takes one bad link to mess things up for you.”

One of the IQ test apps asks for you cell phone number before proceeding to the game. At best you get a lot of unwanted texts, at worst this has the potential of receiving junk texts and a monthly charge of $9.99 showing up on your phone bill.

BBB offers the following tips to protect yourself from social media scams:

  • Don’t take the bait. Avoid promotion of “exclusive,” “shocking” or “sensational” pictures or video.
  • Understand that complying with the terms of some of these ‘quizzes’ allows the developer access to your contact/friend list. Think about this before you play.
  • Hover over a link to see its true destination. Don’t click on links that lead to unfamiliar websites.
  • Confirm before you trust your friends online. It might not actually be your friends ‘liking’ something online or sharing a link. Their account could have been hacked in what is called ‘clickjacking.’
  • Report scam posts to Facebook.
  • Report malware or spam on Twitter.
  • If you have any questions or concerns contact BBB serving Mainland BC at 604-682-2711

 

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Media Contacts:

Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor BBB Serving Mainland BC                                                                                                             604-488-8702                                                                                                                                                                                                                   604-505-2307                                                                                                                                                                                           evan@mbc.bbb.org                                                                                                                                                                                                                 404-788 Beatty Street                                                                                                                                                                                             Vancouver, BC                                                                                                                                                                                                                 V6B 2M1

About BBB:

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses and brands they can trust. In 2014, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews, all available for free at bbb.org. BBB Serving Mainland B.C., founded in 1939 and serving the Lower Mainland, Thompson-Okanagan, Northern, Central and Southern Interior BC, and the Yukon, is one of 112 local, independent BBBs across North America. In 2014, consumers turned to BBB Serving Mainland B.C. more than 1.8 million times for Business Reviews and processed 7,500 complaints.