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Cybersecurity: TikTok becoming scammers’ favourite social media platform –Experts

Photo: CPO Magazine

*Cybersafety experts have urged consumers to not play any online game that asks for any of their personal information, particularly in view of reported ‘product scams since the TikTok Shop arrived in the United States’

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

Technology experts have urged digital consumers in general and “TikTokers” in particular to be careful.

ConsumerConnect learnt consumers are not being fed trash like how to shoplift and influencers trying to convince them something is safe.

They also observed since the TikTok Shop arrived in the United States (US), users have been complaining about product scams.

With today’s sophisticated shopping scams, it’s not always clear whether a vendor is legitimate — especially when trying to snag the best deals, agency report said.

It is also observed that the roll call of Shop scams includes these ploys: online shopping scams, delivery scams and gift card scams.

No, for the most part, those scams aren’t new, but they are effective, report said.

Experts also warned that the scams are particularly efficient on TikTok because a third of that platform’s users are aged 18 to 24 – a demographic that hasn’t been exposed to social media scams like older Americans.

Forewarned is forearmed

Darius Kingsley, Head of Consumer Business Practices at Chase Bank, reportedly disclosed what anyone who’s on TikTok and new to scammania should know about these scams and how they can protect themselves.

Here’s what he had to offer: Kingsley opined that member merchandise could be fake as he said: “With the rise in social media shops and online marketplaces, be cautious with who you’re interacting with online.

“Scammers may take advantage of those scrolling social media and trick them into purchasing items that don’t actually exist, like concert tickets, cars from online auctions, or furniture for their new apartment.

“You may be asked to pay using Zelle, wires or gift cards, but don’t realize that once you send, you can’t get your money back.”

He also advised those that are sellers to not go off-platform to seal the deal.

He gave other tips, and stated that scammers love trying to pull the wool over sellers’ eyes.

Be prepared for a story or two about how your items would be perfect for a loved one, or they may ask you to send pictures or texts directly to them and off the platform and offer to close the sale offline.

Kingsley said that once you take that bait, the scammers can attempt to scam you with a link to send money or confirm your account info as a way to steal your information.

Verify seller and product validity

Kingsley suggested that scam deals often have a “too good to be true” quality about them, so always shop online from reputable stores.

“Look up the seller’s website, social media channels and search for the products to make sure they actually exist. “Fraudsters may create fake seller webpages that may appear real, so do your due diligence.”

Think before you click

Other lures that scammers use to get some of your personal data are online and social media quizzes or gift card giveaways. Usually built within them is some type of request for your birthdate/birthday or your mailing address or email address.

Kingsley further noted those may seem innocuous, but they may be taken and used for scammers’ financial gain.

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