Dark web identity thieves have been a headache to law enforcement agencies and the public at large in recent times.
It goes without saying that social media is one of their softest targets.
Apparently, there is now an emerging social media scam that claims to scan the dark web for your SSN.
Anyone who understands the dynamics of social media and the dark web will tell you that is terrible news.
What is this scam? How does it work? How can you stay safe? Read on for answers.
Scanning the Dark Web for Your SSN
As social media companies strive to make their platforms more user-friendly, more and more people are building trust with the interactions they make on the sites.
Unfortunately, many of the billions of people using social media may not be able to detect any red flags in the interactions they make.
By 2017, it is estimated that there were 2.46 billion social media users. Dark web scammers cannot help but salivate at the prospects such a huge number of unsuspecting individuals has for them.
There are a lot of scams propagated by dark web actors. The scammers are now prompting social media users to enter their social security numbers, promising to scan the dark web for it.
For many average social media users, this request might not seen dubious to them on first glance. Many people know the dark web is associated with illegal activities.
They too would not want to be associated with it by extension.
The prospects of finding out what information about them is listed on the dark web is enticing. However, unbeknownst to them, this is just the first step in the identity theft scam.
Back in 2012, one Candice Ingalls faced a hard time after her identity was stolen in a similar manner and used to charge thousands of dollars to different accounts.
Her credit score slumped and she had an extremely difficult time trying to get her things in order.
Now, four years later, such scammers are still lurking on social media. They are ready to pounce on any naïve user.
After several years, Candace still feels like she does not have protection against social security identity thieves.
But there is good news for social media users who want to protect themselves from identity theft: Staying safe from such scams is not exactly rocket science.
You just need to be extra vigilant. It is very dangerous to give your social security number to someone whose motive you don’t understand.
These people have no privacy policies too.
So—the first step to take before giving out your SSN is to ensure the recipients are credible.
Any other party without such structures is most likely a scammer, seeking to reap where they have not sowed. You can also set your device to block ads from unknown sources.
Users Need to Be Hypervigilant
The number is expected to rise this year. Law enforcement agencies are always on the task to curb the vices, but the scammers keep reinventing themselves.
The ultimate responsibility now comes upon the user to take the necessary measures and remain vigilant while interacting on social media. Social media should do you more good than harm.
Wanting to know whether your information has been compromised is no fault. Just don’t let anyone on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media site be the one to tell you.
Facebook ads are a particularly notorious channel used by scammers. Even on other site, if you are not certain of the credibility of the source, do not give away your identity.
You would rather be safe than sorry.