Top 5 Scams You May Encounter on X (Twitter)

Scams You May Encounter on X (Twitter)

X, previously known as Twitter, is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. According to data from Statista, in 2023, there were an estimated 415 million X users worldwide. 

With such a large pool of users, it’s no wonder that the platform is also a playground for those who prey on sensitive data. Here are some scams you may encounter on X and ways to protect yourself against them.

1. Phishing

Phishing continues to be one of the most common types of online scams. Typically, it takes the form of messages that contain links that take you to places where you are prompted to enter sensitive data, including usernames, passwords, credentials, or even financial information.

For example, you may receive a direct message that contains a link to a website that appears to be X’s login page. However, a close inspection of the page’s URL will clearly show at least a subtle difference from the real one. As you might suspect, these fake pages are meant to capture your username and password. 

To avoid becoming a victim, make sure you never, under no circumstance, open links sent randomly by people you don’t know or don’t trust.

2. Investment schemes

Investment schemes are not a new thing, and they have become particularly widespread since the first crypto boom. On X, deceiving tricks include promotions of fake or otherwise poor investment opportunities distinguished as a great way of making money. In many cases, people using these tactics will also share fabricated success stories or make it look as if a famous person is endorsing the investment “opportunity”.

For instance, you might come across a tweet ad that describes an investment that presumably guarantees a high return within a certain amount of time provided that you send funds to a specific wallet address. In the context of ads, when something looks too good to be true, it almost always is. 

As such, the easiest way to protect yourself against investment schemes is to stay away from suspicious promotions and to always research individuals and companies before engaging in any sort of transaction with them.

One way to find out whether someone is who they pretend to be is by running a background check on them. For example, you can go to Nuwber, search the person’s full name, phone number, or email address, and find out if the information they are telling you about themselves is true.

The extent to which this method will provide good results will vary by case and by your own search skills. For instance, if you only have a name, don’t assume that the name in question necessarily belongs to the person who contacted you, and always check for inconsistencies between the data they provide and the data you can access.  

3. Fake giveaways

Have you ever been told that you are going to receive a prize if you first send some money in exchange? This is a typical example of a fake giveaway, where someone is pretending to give a prize. However, users have to send money or personal data in exchange for it.

On X and other platforms, a common example is that you are about to receive valuable crypto coins, but you first have to send a small amount of money which will be used for verification. 

You can easily avoid fake giveaways by keeping in mind that prizes are not typically given in exchange for money or sensitive information.

4. Impersonation scams

Impersonation scams work by attracting individuals who have trust in famous people or brands. These scams often involve sending a direct message on X from an account that appears to belong to a famous person or brand. Those who respond to these messages are then asked to send private information, including credit card details or passwords, under the pretext that they are needed for verification.

For example, you may be contacted by a fake customer support account pretending to be from a well-known tech company. Regardless of the offer they will be making, rest assured you will be eventually asked to provide sensitive information in return. 

You can find out whether those who are reaching out to you actually represent a reputable company or not by contacting the organization in question. Regardless of the results, always be careful with what information you provide to third parties.

5. Disaster fraud

Few places provide more opportunities for ill-intentioned disaster schemes than social media platforms. These strategies involve creating fake accounts that consist of emotionally charged stories that are meant to invoke strong reactions in people.

Common examples you might encounter include tales of illness, tragic events, or other forms of hardship. These stories are completely fabricated and are meant to convince people to provide funds for made-up purposes. 

Given that some of these stories can be real, the best you can do is to verify their authenticity if you are considering donating. In most cases, it’s probably best to only work with verifiable charitable organizations.

Bottom line: Don’t rely on social media to protect your data

If you are an X user, there is a good chance you will eventually see a scam one way or another. Most attempts to steal people’s data or money tend to be similar to each other. For this reason, a solid understanding of the most common scams on X and similar platforms should help you stay away from them.

It’s worth mentioning that, despite useful security measures from social media platforms, a lot of people fall victim to scams every day, and many of them lose a significant amount of money or valuable personal data as a result. For this reason, when you see something on X that is likely to be an ill-intentioned scheme, it’s generous of you to report it so that the content can be investigated by the platform.

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