Scams are lurking in plain sight on your Facebook newsfeed and in your Facebook Messenger. Being educated on the different scams on Facebook and how to spot them could save you from becoming a victim.

One of the most seemingly innocent of Facebook and social media scams is those fun little surveys or quizzes.

Surveys and quizzes

Surveys, the ones you click on when you are bored are often designed to trick you into giving up personal information that scam artists can use to steal your identity. The surveys seem like an innocent and fun way to pass the time with quizzes like “How well do you know your best friend?” and “Find out who your soulmate is.”

Facebook surveys and quizzes can be anything but fun as they are designed to get you to divulge personal information by asking you questions. The questions they ask can often be similar to security questions many apps and websites use to confirm a user’s identity. This information can be sold on the Dark Web and later used to take control of your accounts.

Be wary of questions like “What was your mother’s maiden name?” or “What street did you grow up on?” Even ones like “What is your sister’s middle name?” and “What was the name of your high school?” seem innocent but are questions that banks, insurance companies and credit card companies use for account security questions.

Not all surveys and quizzes on Facebook or other social media platforms are scams. However, be cautious and keep in mind these tips from the Better Business Bureau to keep you safe.

  • Be skeptical: Before answering a quiz, figure out who created it. Is it a brand you trust? Just because something appears to be fun and innocent, doesn’t mean there isn’t an inherent risk.
  • Adjust privacy settings: Review the social media account’s privacy settings and be strict about any information that is shared  – and be mindful of who you are sharing it with.
  • Remove personal details from your profile: Don’t share information like a phone number or home address on social media accounts.
  • Don’t give answers to common security questions: Be cautious if the questions in a quiz ask for things like your mother’s maiden name, the street you grew up on, previously owned vehicles, favorite foods, or the name of your high school.
  • Monitor friend requests. Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know. Also, be wary of a second friend request from someone you are already connected with; the second profile may be an impostor trying to access your data and your Friends list.
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