Personal Resource Center

How to Avoid Social Media Scams

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Don't make investment decisions based on what others post on social media. They might've been hacked. Or they might be getting paid for the promotion.

Impersonation scams: Scammers create fake profiles impersonating celebrities, influencers, or even friends and family members. They then send messages to followers or friends, asking for money, personal information, or promoting scams.

How to Prevent Being Scammed

Understanding how scammers are targeting people online is a good first step toward protecting yourself. These other steps can also help:

  • Research companies you've never heard of, even if it appears a friend or a trusted source you follow is recommending something from that company. Do a quick search for the company's name to see what comes up in reviews, online forums, and articles in reputable publications. You can also search for the company's name plus the word "scam" to see if that surfaces any issues.
  • After you've done your research, check out the company's website. Is there an "https://" or a padlock symbol, as mentioned earlier, in the URL to show that the website is secure? Do they have a physical address and phone number listed? What is their return policy?
  • Don't pay for anything with cryptocurrency. In fact, if the only way you can pay for something is with cryptocurrency, that is in itself a red flag. (Cryptocurrency isn't traceable, and a demand for payment only with crypto is a sign that someone doesn't want you to be able to track where your money went).
  • Be sure to pay for purchases with a credit card, even if it's through a third-party payment app. In some situations (like if you order something that is never delivered, or if someone makes fraudulent charges on your card), your credit card company will make sure you get most or all of your money credited back to you.
  • Don't give out any personal or financial information on social media, even if it seems the asker or link is real. Look up the supposed company to see if they have a legitimate website with contact information, but still be on guard.
  • Don't donate to an online fundraiser for someone you don't know in real life. If you're concerned about a certain issue, like homelessness or hunger or victims of a natural disaster, find a reputable nonprofit to donate money to instead. (If the fundraiser is for someone you know, confirm with real-life contact that the fundraiser is legit — and not a scammer pretending to have a fundraiser in someone else's name).
  • Don't make investment decisions based on what you see friends, influencers, or celebrities promoting on social media. They might have been hacked. Or they might be getting paid to promote certain investments. Instead, do your own research and contact a trusted financial advisor before sinking your hard-earned money into the unknown.

If you need help navigating an investment process, a Synovus financial advisor can work with you to make informed decision, build a plan and create a strategy for your unique situation.

Important disclosure information

This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.

  1. Andrew Rayo, "The top scams of 2022," Federal Trade Commission. Published February 23, 2023, accessed May 15, 2023.

  2. Federal Trade Commission, "Age and Fraud," updated April 25, 2023, accessed May 15, 2023.