Kingston Police reminding public to be aware of social media scams


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Photo by Con Karampelas.

 

While using social media to make a complaint about a company can sometimes get a quick response from the organization, Kingston Police are encouraging community members to question whether the account responding is really someone from the company.

According to Kingston Police, fraudsters have taken to social media platforms to trick people into falling for their ‘help,’ and then giving away personal information.

Police gave an example of a woman upset with her broadband services who took to Twitter to complain about her provider. The woman promptly received a response from an account appearing to be the customer service team for this company.

The “customer service team” was able to gain personal information, and even banking information from her by using lines like: “I’m having trouble locating your account” and “I’ll first need to ask you a security question.”

The woman soon found her bank account emptied out and several loans taken out under her name.

Kingston Police offer the following tips to protect against scammers:

  • Never trust that an account is legitimate based on their Twitter ‘handle,’ or any other ‘name’ on social media. Just because the company name is present, it doesn’t make it valid.
  • A legitimate organization would never ask you for sensitive data like your bank account information. If it sounds like a strange request, then it probably is.
  • If you’re having trouble with a product or service, log into your account or reach out to their customer support channels yourself. Never trust a response you receive after making a public complaint on social media or anywhere else online.
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