Social Media 'Challenges' amid Coronavirus Could Help Scammers, Police Warn

Security questions often ask users to name the model of their first vehicle, their mother's maiden name or the name of the street they grew up on

social media scams
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As the amount of time people are spending in front of screens increases during the coronavirus outbreak, so do the scams targeting users for their personal information.

A recent Facebook challenge caused the Lafayette Police Department to remind the public to safeguard their info.

“One of the most recent ones is, ‘Share a picture of every car you have ever owned,’” the police department wrote on its Facebook page. “This may seem like a fun trip down memory lane, but this information can be used by someone to gain access to your personal information.”

Security questions often ask users to name the model of their first vehicle, their mother’s maiden name or the name of the street they grew up on.

“As fun as these challenges/questionnaires may seem, we encourage you not to participate and protect your personal information,” the police wrote. “Please be especially wary of posts which ask you to copy and paste the post. This allows the original posters to look at the accounts of everyone who has copied and pasted their information.”

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In addition to online social media scams, hackers have taken advantage of the coronavirus pandemic and the public’s fear by sending texts to people and telling them they’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive.

“Someone who came in contact with you tested positive or has shown symptoms for COVID-19 & recommends you self-isolate/get tested,” the text states. The user is given a link to learn more about it.

The Thomaston Police Department in Maine encourages people to not click on the link.

“It is not a message from any official agency,” the department wrote on its Facebook page. “It is however a gateway for bad actors to find their way into your world.”

“The virus is not the only invisible enemy. Be vigilant against all threats,” they wrote.

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