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Wednesday, January 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Business

BBB Tip of the Week: What’s not to like on social media?

Kirstin Davis,Marketplace Director

It’s the most memorable time of the year.

As 2016 winds down and it is a time to be reflective, social media is a hub of fun and visual ways to celebrate various video applications like Top 5 Friends of 2016, Year in Review and many others.

Some of these applications are a way to obtain information about you or build an audience on social media and many times in order to receive the service it requires personal information, liking a specific social media page or using a hashtag. This is referred to as “Like-Farming” and is a form of online phishing.

Better Business Bureau serving the Northwest offers the following tips on how to spot this scheme and what to do to recover your profile if you’ve already participated.

    Social Media Red Flags. Any legitimate social media service or feature presented to its users such as the personalized videos will not require detailed steps to obtain the service. This means you should not have to like a page or download an app in order to receive the service.

    Beware. Any new service or trending item you find on a social media site should be taken with extreme caution. Investigate first and act second. Liking a page or app allows that entity to access the information on your profile. It will likely lead to and inundation of scheme page requests or pop-ups and possible malware or spyware installation. Depending on how much personal information you have available on your profile it is possible your personal identification could be copied and used for fraud. If you have an address listed this creates a possibility for home burglary.

    Recovery. Remove or delete the video or file from your profile. Unlike or delete the page or app you had to download to get the video and report it to the social media platform as spam. Change your account password and the password to any email accounts linked to your profile. Review the personal information you have listed on your profile to assess how much information about you could have been obtained. Share this information with your friends and in the future, do not download or like unknown application or pages.

Lastly, there is good news! Facebook has a legitimate “Year in Review” video available to all users. You can visit www.facebook.com/yearinreview to request the true Facebook video without the lengthy Like-Farming steps. Anyone who feels they’ve been a victim of ID theft or a scam should report it to local law enforcement and BBB Scam Tracker.

For more consumer protection tips and information on BBB investigations, visit bbb.org/northwest.

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