Written by Shafiaina Izhar
The Internet is the popular medium to reach the audience without spending a lot of money and time. The online tools such as website or social media site can reach a huge number of audiences with minimum effort to make.
However, social media is reportedly as a main platform for fraud activities. By using a corporate marketing and communication tools, fraudsters can be hijacked or getting any personal details of someone with malicious intent, for example, spamming users and misrepresenting the brand itself.
Fraudsters especially, it will make them easy to make their movements look real and credible to choose a victim and sometimes, it is hard for investors to tell the difference between fact and fiction. While these online tools may give vary benefits for investors, it also can make it as an attractive target for criminals. But, to avoid the social media fraud to happen on any sites, we need to be an educated investor.
The popular social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn have become a key tool for some investors such as in the United State (US). The investors always turn back to social media sites for some activities like seeking background information on a broker-dealer, up to date news or simply want to discuss the market with others and so forth.
What a study say about it?
A statistic shows that from April until June 2016, there are 10 top brands across different industries were identified and analyzed across social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. A total of 4,840 brands were found to be associated with these companies which are almost 19 percent were fraudulent.
Fraudsters usually have their own most common practices. By offering free gifts or discounts, or posing as customer support or software updates are the famous common practices by them.
One of the most familiar situations that we can see as their practices is when they closely imitate another brand to make fun of the company or its customers. So that victims cannot be sure either that is a fraud or not. They are motivated by a political agenda and create fraudulent accounts to attack a brand’s image.
So, fraudsters use a social media as their efforts to appear legitimate and to hiding their identity and also as the easy way to reach many people at low costs in minimum time. As a precaution step, always be wary of unsolicited offers to invest. This unsolicited sales pitch may be part of a fraudulent investment scheme.