Social Media is a place to interact and see what is happening in the lives of others. It is also a place to have a profile page to promote your business. On Social Media who is a friend or foe and how do you know? How can you spot a scammer and separate them from a trusted friend?
Most of you are on at least one of the social media platforms. Facebook, or Instagram, or Pinterest. Today I need to get something off my chest and give you ways to know if someone is a friend or foe. Not just social media but everywhere that a person can attempt to reach you and manipulate you out of your money. Scams are increasing with the COVID crisis, and the scammers are becoming smarter.
People are losing their jobs right and left, and some believe it is fine to get money from others who work hard for it. While they sit at their computers, scamming and manipulating anyone who will listen, you are out working or trying to make money to support your needs.
Can You Feel My Frustration?
Do you know how I feel? Can you feel my frustration and anger over the lack of integrity and honesty in our world today? How many times have you gotten the same messages I put up with so often? The one where a person will ask to friend you and then say “Hello beautiful” or “I want to get to know you better.” How do you know if they are real or a scam?
Just the other day, I had a person want to friend me on my social media FaceBook page. The profile picture was of a girl in her 30’s, so I confirmed the request. I don’t usually do that unless we have at least 6 friends in common, but this day I accepted.
Within minutes a man came on and went through the whole “Your smile is so beautiful” manipulative gamma. I was furious because I had fallen for another one of those scams and confirmed his request. I was upset with me because I can usually see them a mile away. Oh no, not this time. The female profile photo got me!
I get these scam requests to the tune of at least 3 a week and more some weeks. I usually ignore them, but some of them just get me riled up. And at other times, I like to play with the person on social media to see if it is an automated message conversation.
I told him that he was a scum bag because he used a female profile picture and that my Facebook business pages are not dating platforms. I told him that I am not his sweetheart or darling and to leave me alone.
Now that worked so well for me! NOT! He came back with an automated message saying, “I would like to get to know you better.” So I deleted and blocked him. Did I feel better? Not really!
So on a social media platform, how do I know who is a friend or a foe? What is the best way to deal with a Facebook scammer who wants to take your money and play on your emotions? The best way is to block them and not talk to them again. But that is not so easy.
A Facebook business page is a bit trickier than a personal profile. If you didn’t catch it in time and didn’t block them, there are ways to identify a social media scam. Let’s look at some tips to recognize a scammer’s manipulation before you get in too deeply. These tips also apply to your personal page as well.
4 Signs of manipulation
- They move in quickly as soon as you friend them
- They call you darling, beautiful, sweetheart, or any other term of endearment
- They try to make you feel guilty when you say no
- They give you a sob story
They move in quickly as soon as you friend them
As soon as you friend a scammer on your social media platform, the person will begin the barrage of questions. These questions are to find out what time of day it is where you are. Also, to get the personal information they can use later to manipulate you. The scammer wants to make you think they are just like you.
They will ask questions like, what did you have for breakfast this morning? When you answer this one simple question, the scammer has your time of day, your likes and dislikes, and your preferences. They can expand on the questions and say they like the same things you do.
More than likely, you won’t just give one answer; you will give them in-depth answers because someone is interested in who you are.
The manipulation begins, and they have set the groundwork to make you feel important.
They call you darling, beautiful, sweetheart or any other term of endearment
We all want to be important and thought of as beautiful. Social media manipulation works well on a lonely person, such as an older man or woman. After all, you just want a friend and someone to talk to. It is harmless. NOT so true! If you fall for this manipulation, they will continue to wedge their way into your life.
They try to make you feel guilty when you say no
The scammer will attempt to make you feel guilty if you say no to anything they ask. At first, they may use an automated message to respond to you, but they will interact as the person you think they are when they get their foot in the door.
To keep you on a string, they will make you feel bad because they need you. They will try to intimidate you and manipulate you. They thought you were their friend but now look at how you are treating them. The guilt creeps in, and you want to make them feel better. So you keep talking to them on social media or you may take it outside of the platform to include texting and phone calls.
They give you a sob story
They want to hear about you at first, but as time goes on and you interact with them, their story becomes the dreaded social media sob story worse than yours. Let’s say you tell them you are alone and lost your husband. They will have a worse story, such as losing their wife and child in a car accident and needing a friend.
You start feeling sorry for them, so you keep trying to make them feel better. You keep talking to them, and as you focus on them, you lose sight of what they are doing to manipulate you.
Are You In Too Deep?
By this time, you are in too deep but never so far that you can’t get out. It is time for the scammer to start asking for money so they can come to see you. They are doing this for you to show how much they care. But they don’t have any money, so they need you to wire them money.
Oh my, BIG RED FLAG!!!!
Never wire money to anyone. A wire transfer is not traceable. Once they have your money, you will not get it back.
What to do Now?
The best thing to do is not friend the person at all, but some scammers do trick us, as you can see. If you are manipulated into friending a scam person, then watch for the signs. Are you their baby, sweetheart or darling? If so, block immediately. Do they ask personal questions? If so, block immediately.
The more you interact with the scammer, the more they will pull you in, and the harder it will be for you to break ties.
But most of all, NEVER give personal information or money to a person on social media. They do have ways to track you. Just because you are behind a computer or phone does not mean they can’t find information to draw you in deeper.
Be careful, be safe, and keep an open mind so you can see the scammer for what they are on any social media platform.