Incidents of Social Media Scams Are Snowballing – European Commission

Society | April 16, 2021, Friday // 11:28|  views

European consumers are increasingly the victims of misleading advertising and social media scams. Through an advertisement, appealing things are offered for an irresistible price. After payment, the order is not delivered, consumers receive products that do not match the advertisement or are stuck with an unwanted subscription. 

A recent study of the European Commission shows that no less than 56% of consumers surveyed in the last two years have been the target of fraud or scams. The most common form of social media scams is the so-called "Buying scams" where consumers buy a product that is never delivered or are unwittingly lured into an unwanted subscription. 

Scammers are getting smarter

Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in applying all kinds of psychological influencing tricks that make us act impulsively and make purchases without thinking critically about the proposition. It's a misconception to think that it won't happen to you; anyone can become a victim of scams and fraud! 

Did you make a purchase? And now the ad is gone?

Another danger associated with social media shopping is the volatility of advertisements. Consumers are targeted with specific advertisements. The advertisement through which the purchase can be made with just a few clicks has suddenly disappeared after the purchase. Then try to prove that the offer does not match the advertisement. 

Prevent scams. How? This is how!

Always be careful when making purchases through Facebook or Instagram. Try to avoid online impulse purchases, take a moment to consider, and investigate! The following tips will help you prevent scams: 

  • Don't be misled by cheap offers; if an offer seems too good to be true, it usually is. 
  •  Check whether the entrepreneur has a website or online shop and how reliable it looks. Use the safe online shopping checklist of ACM ConsuWijzer. 
  •  Check the reviews! View consumer experiences on various review websites. 
  •   Do you doubt the authenticity and intentions of the entrepreneur? Check the website of the police for any reports about this entrepreneur. 
  •  Collect evidence and take multiple screenshots during the ordering process. 
  •  Pay on delivery or with a credit card. Most credit cards by default offer purchase protection insurance. 

Scammed on social media? Report it to ConsuWijzer!

Fraud does a lot of damage, both in terms of financial loss and emotional impact. Have you been scammed via social media? It is important that you report this to the police. Please also report it to ACM ConsuWijzer, the point of contact for the Consumer & Market Authority. 



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Tags: EU, social media scams, caution


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