Community group chats targeted by scammers

Residents have been targeted by scams who sell non-existent services or products on social media.

In response to recent complaints from residents in the Fourways area regarding scams occurring on social media, we consulted our local police with the aim to seek information on how residents can identify and avoid falling prey to these scams.

The SAPS website provides useful tips and guidelines that can help residents to remain vigilant and recognise any signs of fraudulent activity on social media platforms.

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Safe social media etiquette

  • Be selective with friend requests.
  • Block and ignore messages from strangers.
  • Check the privacy and security settings.
  • Never share any explicit images or video material with anyone.

Never ignore these red flags and run

  • If the person insists on having your address or phone number
  • If the person emails you photos that make you feel uncomfortable
  • If the person wants you to keep their chats with you a secret
  • If the person wants you to send them photos of yourself or use a webcam in a way in which makes you feel uncomfortable.

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Think before you click

  • Make sure your social media profiles are set to private.
  • Check your security settings.
  • Be careful what information you post online.
  • You cannot see who is at the end of the computer or phone. The internet makes it easy for someone to be anyone else in the world, be careful with friend requests.

Shopping online

  • Always be suspicious of deals that seem too good to be true.
  • Various scams involve people selling goods online at seemingly ‘amazing deals’. Typically if a deal looks ‘too good to be true’ it usually is and caution must be exercised.
  • Verify when purchasing things online – always ensure you use reputable sites and verify the details. Unsuspicious fraudsters lure unsuspecting victims through false advertisements, often requesting them to make payments via transfers or deposits before viewing or receiving the goods . Rather conclude the transaction in person after verifying the seller’s details.

Related article: Top shopping tips to keep you safe this holiday season

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