Spot and avoid the latest social media scams


Social media has become a 1-stop shop. News updates, trends and memes flood our feeds, along with updates from friends and family. But it’s also become a breeding ground for innovative scams that make it difficult to separate a good deal from the latest fraud attempt.

AI tools can make our lives easier, automating mundane tasks and freeing up time to focus on what’s important, but they can also be used for criminal purposes. Fraudsters are now using AI to generate what are called ‘deepfake’ videos. Deepfake videos are made with AI software that captures your real image and voice and manipulates them to create realistic-looking video posts. In effect, the software can turn you into an animated digital character who will say or sell anything that a scammer wants it to.


Deepfake social media scams


Cybercrime is a lucrative business for scammers looking to make a quick buck at your expense, and it keeps increasing because con artists are quick to take advantage of new technology to create new cons. A cybercriminal now needs only a short clip of your voice to create voice messages claiming to be from you that sounds realistic.

If scammers can get recordings of your facial data and your voice – perhaps by hacking your social media accounts – they can use them to create deepfake videos that show you promoting a ‘great investment opportunity’. They’ll add screenshots of fake bank pay-outs and testimonials to make them look more credible. They can post these videos on your hacked accounts, or DM them to your friends, family and social media followers, urging them to invest and receive high returns.  If the people targeted from your contact list accept the deepfake as real, they’ll have no reason to doubt that you’re sharing something that worked for you.

These posts and DMs can easily seem legitimate, and they present a double threat. It’s bad enough to have AI create a digital fake version of you to trick others, but you could also fall victim to the scam. Be cautious if you get what looks like a great offer from someone you know and check that it isn’t a deepfake scam. These frauds play on human emotions like excitement, curiosity, and the fear of missing out. Your emotions can make you act impulsively when you’re not thinking with a clear, focused mind.

Don’t let cyberattackers exploit your emotions. Safeguard yourself and your family from potential deepfake threats by taking the following precautions when you’re checking social media posts or DMs:

  • Never answer video calls from people whom you don’t know personally.

  • Use call-vetting apps like Truecaller to warn you about spam and spam callers. However, don’t rely on these apps alone. Call the supposed sender directly to check if a message is legitimate, before you do anything that could compromise your safety or your finances.  Seeing is not always believing.

  • Set up 2-factor authentication on your social media accounts.

  • Never tell anyone your account passwords.

  • Always double or even triple-check the credibility of investment opportunities. Take some time to do your research before making any financial commitment.

  • If you discover that a deepfake version of you is being used to scam people, notify your friends, family and social media contacts immediately, so that they know not to trust what is being posted by the cybercriminal.



Part of the reason we fall for scams is the dream of wealth that so many offer


Other scams to be aware of


  • Fake loans

    When times are this tough and so many people need financial help, the promise of a loan in a social media advert can seem like a lifeline. Fraudsters will even entice you with promises like ‘no credit checks!’ or ‘qualify even if you’re blacklisted!’ They can make these promises because they have no intention of granting you a loan. If you fall for the scam, they will ask you to pay ‘an administration fee’ before the loan can be paid into your account. When you pay that fee, you may also compromise your online banking details. The scammer then uses your details to add themselves as a beneficiary on your account, which you then approve because you think you’re approving the payment of the loan. Not only will the scammer then have your ‘administration fee’, but they will also have the power to transfer money out of your account. You’ll be even worse off financially than you were before.

  • Fake jobs

    This fraud works just like the fake loans scam. Social media adverts promise desperate people easy jobs at excellent salaries, and if you fall for the scam you’re told that there is a job waiting for you, you just have to pay an ‘administration fee’. Again, fraudsters can use this trick to get hold of your banking details, robbing you of both the admin fee and the money in your account.

  • Parcel for you with customs duty due

    A common scam is a text message or email claiming you have a parcel waiting for you at the Post Office or a local courier outlet with unpaid customs fees. Don’t click on any links in these messages, and don’t make any payments or provide your bank details.

    Instead, contact your local Post Office or courier company directly. They can confirm whether there are any packages for you, and what is owed. If you haven’t bought anything from a supplier in another country, it’s most likely a scam.

  • Phone call asking for money

    This con trick relies on making you think that the call is from a friend or family member who is in trouble. The caller will manipulate you by saying something like: ‘Hello, it’s me. I need help!’ or ‘Hi Gogo, I’m in trouble!’ They’re hoping you’ll think you recognise the voice and say a name, so that they can pretend to be that person, asking for your help in an emergency. If they’ve hacked your social media accounts, they might use the name of someone you know.

    If someone calls you asking for money without identifying themselves, don’t provide any personal information or financial details. Instead, ask them to identify themselves properly. If they won’t, it’s probably a scam. Hang up and consider blocking the number. If they do give you the name of someone that you know, but the number is different from the one you have, contact that person on a different platform, or check with a mutual contact whether their number has changed.

  • Inheritance messages

    lgnore any random messages claiming that you’ve inherited money, especially if they're asking for your bank details. Legitimate inheritance processes will involve legal documentation and formal procedures, including verifying your identity, long before anyone will need your bank details.
    Delete these messages, block the sender and never provide personal or financial information.

  • Fake celebrity endorsements

    Messages claiming to be from celebrities, especially if they’re endorsing cryptocurrency or asking for money, are usually a scam. Realistically, why would Beyoncé be sending you a DM asking for an e-wallet? It might seem obvious, but in the moment, it’s easy to get swept away by the idea that your favourite celeb has reached out to you.

    Ignore these endorsements, and never click on social media adverts that claim a certain celebrity has an amazing investment secret to share about investing.


Part of the reason we fall for scams is the dream of wealth that so many offer – enticing us with the promise of great rewards without having to put in any hard work or make any long-term investments. The truth is, if there were a no-effort way to get rich quickly, we’d all have mansions and sports cars.

However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t grow your money legitimately. By opening a savings or investment account, you can make your money work for you. It just takes discipline, consistency, and the power of compound interest.