Question: I just received a Facebook message that I thought was from my brother who lives in another state. So, I sent him my new cell phone number. The message was actually not from my brother. I started getting calls from this man that said I won $50,000 and all I had to do was wire $1,000 to him to get my money. I knew right away it was a scam and I didn’t send the money. Now, what do I do? The man keeps blowing up my phone.
Answer: I’m glad that you did not become this scammer’s newest victim. Unfortunately, the calls that you continue to get can really be a nuisance. First, if you are sure that the scammer used your brother’s photo from a social media post, you can report the abuse to the social media platform. In the case of Facebook, simply go to your Facebook page, click on the down arrow on the top right corner of your page and click on “Report a Problem.” You may also want to review your page to make sure that you are not giving out personal information that could affect your identity.
Second, you may want to add the scammer’s phone numbers to your reject list. That should take care of the nuisance calls.
Scammers have become more resourceful in obtaining personal information to make their activity seem real and believable It’s crucial that consumers actively protect private information.
There’s only one surefire way to avoid someone from downloading your photos: Don’t post them. If you want to continue to share, you can upload a smaller copy of the file than the original. That way the entire image is not accessible to anyone else. Social media platforms also have guidelines on how and what to upload. Make sure you read and understand the guidelines before you post anything. Social media platforms are committed to protecting your information. But nobody is immune to hackers and scammers. These tips apply:
• Change your password often.
• Pick a strong password. Longer passwords are better. Mix letters, numbers and symbols.
• Don’t accept invitations from people you don’t know.
• Never share your login info with strangers.
• Make sure your antivirus software is up to date and run it regularly.
• Be careful when clicking. Make sure you know it’s a safe link before you click.
• Never give private info online unless the site is encrypted. Look for the https in the site address. The “S” means it is secure.
• If you operate on a wireless network, make sure it is password-protected. Your neighbor could get in if it is not. You can also limit access to your network.
• Never assume a public network is secure.