UAB researchers say social media scams are common among local community groups

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BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (WBRC) – UAB expert Dr. Ragib Hassan tracks scams on social media and he most often sees them in neighborhood watch groups, marketplaces and community groups.

He said scammers hack your friends and family and then use their account to try to scam you. They will create a fake message, pretending to be your friend, try to sell an item at a very low price, or ask for advice on your baby’s or pet’s name to find out your potential security questions, or they ask you to answer an easy riddle.

Hasan said the posts seemed innocent and people fell in love with them because they appeared to be a message from a friend or loved one. He said all it takes is one comment and the scammer will be in your inbox, trying to further the scam. He said that whenever a high-priced item is advertised as cheaper, it’s likely a scam.

“I see a lot of people, especially people in need, they come in and comment there,” Dr Hasan said. “Each time, the scammer asks them to contact them through messages. Any time there is a ridiculous offer of money in exchange for simple information, it is probably a sign of fraud, even if it is someone ‘one you know. Their account is most likely hacked.

Dr. Hasan said he finds that scammers are local and global, but if you fall in love with them, there’s usually not much you can do. He said he also finds reporting the account doesn’t work, so you have to be careful not to fall for them.

Click on here to learn more about online scams circulating locally.

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