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Scam Busters: Facebook “Get Rich Quick” Schemes

In today’s Scam Buster Blog Series, we’re going to be looking at the ‘Get Rich Quick’ scams, the seemingly legitimate brands and businesses that promise quick and easy money to unsuspecting victims. It’s easy to be taken in by what’s offered – minimum work for maximum payoff, all from the comfort of your own home! But these scams prey on those most vulnerable, from young students desperate to make some money, to families wanting to make ends meet, and it’s all too easy for those most in need to fall victim to these shameless scams.

A commonly seen scam circulating Facebook is the promise of a huge profit in return for placing a small ‘bet’. This is a trading process known as ‘binary options’, which involves betting on the expected value or price of stock or commodities. The pay-off is theoretically huge, but with ruthless scammers always encouraging higher bets, it isn’t long before their victims are thousands of pounds out of pocket, with many being asked for more financial investment to return the lost money. Sadly, most of the money invested in these scams is never returned.

The thought of being inadvertently drawn into a fraudulent operation is frightening, but there are ways of recognising what’s genuine and what’s not. The first is pretty obvious – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. There are many empty promises these scammers use to lure the unsuspecting into investing, and the sad truth is what they’re promising is a near impossible goal to achieve in a quick space of time. If the offer seems exaggerated in what it promises, the likelihood of it being genuine is low.

Another easy way to spot these scammers is how they interact with their audience. A professional, legitimate company would always present their content in a smart, legible way, ensuring it has enough details to intrigue their audience and allowing opportunities for engagement with potential clients. Scammers are deliberately vague in what they offer, not including any specific details and avoiding questions that could catch them out. If what they’re asking is ambiguous or unclear, don’t engage with it.

If you feel uncertain on the authenticity of a brand or business, don’t be afraid to ask for third party advice. There are many groups in operation that work to ensure scammers aren’t successful in what they do and can offer advice to those affected by these ‘Get Rich Quick’ schemes amongst other fraudulent activities. Most of these groups stay up to date on current scams circulating on social media and can help advise on what tactics are used to pull people into fraudulent schemes.

Finally, we would advise keeping an eye out on all social media platforms. Scammers operate across many different media sites, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or even Snapchat. They might present what they’re offering in a different way, but their intentions are still ingenuine and the promises they’re making can’t be trusted. If any part of you worries about the legitimacy of a brand, don’t be afraid to do some independent research, and if you still have doubts about their intentions, don’t engage with them. It’s better to be safe than sorry, particularly on the internet.

The online world can be terrifying to try and navigate, not least because of the continuous circulation of these ‘Get Rich Quick’ schemes. The Scam Buster Blog Series is designed to highlight these schemes, with a hope of educating people on how to avoid them and preventing cybercrime from becoming a common occurrence.

Chris Ryu "Chameleon"

Chris has been a developer for over 15 years. His unique experience crosses over into Marketing and he is well known in the Dorset Web community for his transparency. He founded the Dorset Science & Technology Centre in 2017, providing a home to the STEM subjects in rural Dorset.

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