Snapchat is one of the most widely used social media programs, with close to 300 million daily active users, the majority of whom are teenagers and young adults. Its popularity has nonetheless made it a top target for scammers, hackers, and online criminals.
Snapchat scams entice victims to part with their money, divulge personally identifiable information (PII) leading to identity theft, and share compromising images that can be used as leverage in blackmailing and extortion.
Snapchat Scams: What Are They? How Do They Work?
The dishonest methods con artists employ to obtain your personal information or trick you into handing them money includes Snapchat scams. They start or happen on the Snapchat app.
Scammers on Snapchat engage with users and frequently adopt a familiar and trustworthy persona. Moreover, they might carry out phishing scams to steal PII(Personally-identifiable information) or may seize control of targeted accounts and use it for additional scams.
Law authorities have accused Snapchat scammers of hacking, identity theft, extortion, forgery, harassment, and juvenile computer crimes. Snapchat and other social media platforms are popular with scammers because they make it simple to set up phony profiles.
So how can you tell whether a Snapchat account is legitimate or fake?
Like Instagram, Snapchat has its fair share of social media influencers, making it challenging to distinguish between “genuine” accounts and scammers. The most excellent approach to ward off identity theft and scams on Snapchat is to report con artists before they attempt to con you online.
Here are several indicators that can help you distinguish between authentic and phony accounts:
- Verify their Snap rating. If Snapchat fraudsters are utilizing the platform actively, this will reveal them. For example, it’s probably a scam if someone declares themselves as an influencer but only has a Snap score in hundreds.
- See the Snap Map. Does the place they claim in their profile reflect where they live?
- Search Google Images for their profile or story photos. Images from other websites are stolen by scammers and used on their fictitious accounts. To find out where a picture originated, upload it on Google image search.
- Find out if they use Bitmoji. A Bitmoji is a cartoon character that associates with a user’s name and profile. Since they are so typical among Snapchat users, the absence of one can raise suspicions around that account.
- Consider questioning your buddy if you feel someone is posing as them. You should probably block a random account if it adds you and then starts pinging you with weird links or asking for “help.” The same goes for your buddies. If someone you know begins to send you odd messages, get in touch with them via a different platform and find out if everything is fine.
Snapchat Scams: How To Avoid
- Whether they come from your friends (whose accounts might have been hacked) or an email that appears to be from Snapchat, always be wary of links and QR codes in messages. Use a VPN with antivirus protection for more security. It will immediately block malicious phishing websites.
- Even if they claim to be someone you know, never accept friend requests from strangers or add them to your friend’s list.
- If you notice suspicious conduct, text, or email, contact your friends. Let them know that their account might have been hacked.
- Never divulge your login information or believe threatening communications that claim to be from Snapchat. Snapchat will never ask for your password, My Eyes Only passcode, or reveal your private photographs. Snapchat meetup scammers may track you to gain your money so beware of these scams.
- Always choose a strong password to stop scammers from accessing your account. Use ten components comprising different upper- and lowercase characters, numerals, and symbols in a distinctive, challenging combination. Never use this password for another account. To keep track of these lengthy passwords, use a password manager.
- Install two-factor authentication, but skip SMS. By giving your device a unique code each time you log in, 2FA increases the security of your Snapchat account. However, hackers can avoid SMS authentication if they gain access to your phone. Use an authenticator app instead, such as Okta or Google.
- Change the privacy options. Limit who can send you Snaps, access your Stories, identify your location on Snap Map, and see you in Quick Add. To prevent anyone from seeing where you are, think about activating Ghost Mode.
- Update the email and phone number connected to your account. If you ever lose access to your account, this will help prove that it belongs to you.
Due to the transient nature of the content published on the network, Snapchat has become an incredibly alluring hunting ground for scammers. Evidence could vanish before you even realize you’ve been conned. Therefore, it is crucial to be cautious, keep an eye out for any warning signs, and never send money to anyone on the site, regardless of whether you know them or they claim to be a licensed broker.
Always do your homework about any changes or features you initially learned about through Snapchat or other comparable apps. Naturally, it is conceivable for someone to genuinely recommend a reliable broker, but fraudsters on the other hand may initiate a conversation about investing on a forum.