Hold on tight to your credit cards, avoid those odd text messages and emails, and know where your wallet is at all times because scamming is back on the rise. Unfortunately for us, scamming is no longer as recognizable as a Nigerian prince begging for funds. Online scamming has evolved since cell phones became a widely used commodity in the 80s. How exactly has online scamming evolved throughout the past few decades?
Because they are less tech-savvy than younger people, older individuals have always been the main target of scams. According to Forbes, “The most likely financial fraud victims are men aged 70 and over.” Many of our own grandparents have been victims of this predatory scamming, but the tides are now changing. Recently, younger people have now become the main victims of online scams.
In this day and age, people can make money just from having a large following. Social media influencing has become a very popular job in the past decade. Large companies often pay these influencers to promote their products and services. Young people and college students have found being an influencer as a way to make easy money. Scammers are now targeting influencers, impersonating small businesses. According to KTVH News, online bots have been preying on influencers and brand ambassadors, asking them to promote fake products and even asking for money. The article chronicled the experience of an influencer named Caleb Crater, “I remember having bots on my Instagram account that said they want me to pose for a mural and things like that,” Crater recalled.
Crater is just one example of a young person being targeted by online social media scammers. Even I have received bot messages on Instagram, being asked to promote fake companies. Non-influencers are just as susceptible to scams as influencers, so always be on the lookout!
The first indication that someone may be trying to scam you is if they ask you to buy a product or send money.
Always remember to never share personal information such as social security numbers and bank account numbers no matter how tempting the offer may be. Until next time, stay safe out here.
By Amaar Zarrieff, Freshman, Howard University
Instagram: amaar.fz / X: @Amaar_FZ
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