Social Media Phishing Attacks

What Are the Types of Social Media Phishing Attacks

Phishing is perhaps the oldest type of online fraud tactic used by scammers. Originally, phishing scams were conducted using email. However, as users on the web became more aware and alert, the effectiveness of email phishing has deteriorated considerably. Unfortunately, this has not been enough to discourage fraudsters and scammers. Modern fraudsters have become creative and are using a variety of phishing scams to dupe unsuspecting users and brands. That’s right, phishing scams these days don’t just affect the victims. They can also hurt a brand’s reputation. In this article, we will understand how a phishing scam can affect the trust your brand has built with its audience. We will also discuss the different tactics employed by fraudsters to deliver phishing attacks. Finally, this article will also guide you about protecting your brand against social media phishing. Let’s jump right in:  What Is Social Media Phishing? Before we learn about the different techniques of social media phishing, let’s understand the basic premise of this type of scam. The main purpose of phishing is to obtain the personal information of the users. This information is then used by scammers to gain access to their financial accounts and steal their money. On social media, it has become easier than ever for scammers to conduct this type of scam. Scammers may post a lucrative click-bait link on a platform, something like, “Here’s how this 20-year-old made $1 million in a week.” When a user clicks on this link, they may be redirected to spoofed websites that steal the personal information of the users. Since they are accessing the link through their social media account, a lot of personal identification information becomes available to the scammers. Equipped with information like name, age, date of birth, place of birth, names of parents and spouses, and more, scammers can steal from the user. In many cases, scammers may even use someone’s personal information in other ways to gain financial benefit. How Does Social Media Phishing Impact Brands? Social media phishing doesn’t just impact users. Brands may feel the most considerable long-term effects of social media phishing attacks. This is because many social media phishing techniques are executed by scammers impersonating a brand or the brand’s representative. If a user interacts with someone claiming to represent a brand they love and trust, they are likely to trust the stranger contacting them. Then, if this person turns out to be a scammer, the user will associate the bad experience with the brand. While the brand itself is not at fault, a distressed user may not be able to understand the same. As a result, they may completely stop trusting the brand. In extreme cases, distressed victims may even start bad-mouthing the brand on social media platforms and in front of their friends. This can cause further damage to the brand reputation of the company, leading to real monetary loss in a variety of ways. The lack of trust may directly impact the business coming from users who have fallen victim to a social media phishing scam. Moreover, if the lack of trust is spread among the larger user base, a brand may have to spend an unusually large amount on its advertising and customer experiences just to gain back the trust it has lost. Even then, there may be many users who may never place their trust in the brand again, especially those who have been directly impacted by the phishing scam. Let’s understand the different social media phishing scams that may even impact your brand.  Most Common Types of Social Media Phishing Attacks Fake Customer Support Social media has emerged as a popular place to avail customer support. It is quicker and more convenient than calling a company’s helpline number. Not to forget, the generations that are now entering the consumer market also prefer communicating through texts over phone calls. Even from a brand’s perspective, providing support on social media is a great idea. It is cost-effective and allows the brand to be prompt with its response. This, in turn, enables the brand to create more delightful customer experiences. Such experiences have a compounding effect on social media platforms where customer-brand interactions are visible publicly. Unfortunately, it is also very easy for scammers to pose as support representatives of a brand and scam its customers. The culture of support on social media offers a glaring opportunity for committing brand infringement attacks. All they need is a fake profile equipped with the brand’s logo and a description. Using these, a scammer impersonates a legitimate brand representative and directs support-seeking customers to fake login pages that collect their personal information. This information is then used to gain access to the customer’s social media and bank accounts. The scammers then use the now-hacked social media account to scam the friends and family of their original victim. In some cases, scammers ask for an upfront payment from customers seeking support. However, these customers simply end up falling victim to the scam and never getting the support they require. It isn’t difficult to imagine how such interactions reflect badly on a brand’s image and the trust it enjoys with its audience. Fake Business Profiles, Pages Just like it is easy to create a fake profile pretending to be a brand’s representative, it is also alarmingly easy to create fake company pages on social media platforms. These pages are then used by scammers to misrepresent the brand and scam unsuspecting users by asking for their personal information. In some cases, fake business profiles may post links to fake login pages that resemble the login page of the social media platform where it is posted. An innocent user may end up clicking on such a link and thinking that they may have been logged out because of a technical issue, may enter their login details into the fake login page. With this, the scammers can gain access to the user’s profile and start impersonating them to scam their friends. Email Phishing Email phishing, as the name suggests,

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