Billions of people are on social media these days. For those with bad intentions, that’s a worldwide pool of potential prey for them to victimize. We’ve all come across a “fake” account at one point in our lives. Though most of these are created by people who simply have too much time on their hands, other fraudulent accounts are created to serve far more malicious purposes.
For today’s fraudsters, it can’t get any easier. It’s easy even for budding cybercriminals, since all you need to do is input fake information to create an account. They can choose to duplicate any person’s information – what school they went to, what office they currently work in, and even what type of music they like to listen to. With their cloned social media identity, they can now trick unsuspecting targets into believing the account belongs to a relative, friend, co-worker, love interest, etc., asking them for sensitive information or cash.
The same goes with big companies and brands, as all hackers need to do is grab an image of their logo from the web, put up a bunch of fake announcements, and they’re good to go. On a small scale, fraudsters can use these false accounts to slander the company, but on a large scale, this paves the way for cybercriminals to spread malware links by using elaborate scams. When you’re dealing with social media, you’re dealing with a network of billions of people. Any attack, no matter how small, can potentially cause irreparable damage to a company.
Online fraud can turn out to be a very serious problem not just for individuals or companies, but for society as a whole. With more people creating social media accounts, it’s time organizations and social media giants like Facebook and Twitter take a closer look at different ways to deal with this problem. You never know what sort of catastrophes may be coming if this is left unchecked.