Social Media Scams Continue to Grow, Causing Issues for Kentucky Businesses
It feels like armies of bots have officially taken over social media, posing as real people in the community and buy-and-sell groups. They use these platforms to spread disinformation to encourage users to share posts about an injured dog, homes available to rent, and missing children or older people. Now, they're targeting businesses by spreading disinformation in hopes that you'll share the post. Here's how to not fall for this bait-and-switch scheme.
Lately, if your scrolling through social media, you may be on a buy-and-sell page to see a sad post that grabs your attention. These scams are spreading across local platforms like wildfire lately. You can't miss the posts, but you should avoid them. They're targeting people by using fake posts about missing pets, children, or seniors. In some of the scam posts, they're posting fraudulent rental listings in Facebook Marketplace. Avoid the posts on these sites where "XXXX is Hiring," as you'll never get the job because it's not real! Now, they're targeting local businesses, and we know how negative social media scams can have a crippling effect.
MISSING/HURT SCAM POST EXAMPLE
This was posted on Owensboro Bargain Basement twenty minutes ago. It's a great example of a spam post to be aware of. The #Owensboroo is the first clue that it isn't real. You'll find these same posts/pictures with hashtags from cities all across Kentucky. Grammatical errors are another red flag. If you're not allowed to comment (comments turned off) on the post, that's another sign. It's more than likely a scam if they request for you to "bump" the post. Check their profile. They're probably not from here and have no friends. There are so many clues when you look for them!
THE LATEST SCAM FOCUSES ON LOCAL BUSINESSES
The latest scam involved a local restaurant. The poster stated that they found a mealworm in their McDonald's Chicken Sandwich. They showed pictures of "everything", but it was a scam. Many people shared the post by the time I saw it on my social media timeline. It had all the clues mentioned above that it wasn't a legit post.
"Just a heads up….this post about the worm in Mcdonald's food is popping up on many different groups/yard sale pages, picture is the same, location is different. Don’t share it, it is a scam." - Teresa Sacksteder
Sharing and spreading disinformation could cost someone their job or put the company out of business. These are just some of the scam examples. Think twice before sharing posts without doing a little homework. Have you been scammed? How did it affect you and your family?
If you believe you've been involved in a scam, be sure to report it to authorities.