Social media is now more prevalent than the air that we breathe. People make use of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and a host of other platforms to keep in touch with their loved ones and friends, keep up-to-date with the latest information as well as meet up with people around the world.

Social media phishing can be described as a form of scam whereby victims are offered a tempting offer to click on a malicious link or give personal details. The primary method of attack used for “normal” phishing is via email; however, social media phishing can be – you’ve guessed it – mostly executed through social media websites.

The rise of social media phishing could be mostly due to the growing reach of social media firms.

  • Facebook,
  • WhatsApp,
  • Instagram and
  • LinkedIn.

Each is extensively branched out with more options and integration with other applications. If you’re looking for a phisher, social media is not just an immense number of victims and a wide variety of ways to get in.

The data hackers collect the login details for your social media accounts, credit card information, and other personal information, which can be later used to launch other attacks and scams.

For instance, you can have your birthday or social security number, middle name or mother’s maiden name, and so on, along with a well-informed guess of where you have retirement or bank accounts, they are able to reset your password and take your accounts. A majority of this information can be readily available on social media sites.

Scammers are able to use Facebook to target thousands of individuals at once while also mingling with the masses. What makes social media popular with scammers is the sheer volume of people who are on social networks:

  • Facebook – 2 billion users
  • Facebook – 700 million active users
  • Twitter has 328 million users
  • Snapchat 150 million people (probably the child you have is this platform)


The huge number of users on social media is now evident in social media phishing scams. Here are a few additional techniques:

  • The number of social media phishing incidents was up by 500% by the end of 2021.
  • Fake profiles on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook were up 100 percent from the third quarter until the fourth quarter.
  • 20 percent more Facebook spam and Twitter spam between Q3 and Q4 2016.
  • In the last year, the amount of fraudulent attempts to hack into social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn has grown by 150%.


Here are a few of the most popular social media scams that are currently in circulation:

Fake Customer Service accounts for fake customers on Twitter

“Fake” comments are made on the most popular blogs.

  • Fake live streaming videos
  • Fake online discount
  • Contests and fake online surveys

In 2016 a Facebook fraud resulted in the loss of one Australian woman, around $450,000. The perpetrators set up a false doctor’s Facebook profile — with a picture of their profile stolen from a real doctor. Then they gave the victim a request to be a friend. After gaining the trust and confidence of his victim, who accepted the friend request and the “doctor” claimed he accidentally attempted to get into Australia using $1.5 million in customs funds during a trip. The victim requested cash, saying that she urgently needed $3,000 to receive the money-back to her. The victim agreed to pay and followed up with a series of additional payments to pay for the extra charges. When he realized he was fraudulently scammed, he’d completed 33 installments in all.


You can avoid becoming a victim of scams involving phishing by following these top practices:

In the case of an email that is phishing, the best way to avoid an attack is to be aware before clicking. The phrase “clickbait” has a reason. The best phishers utilize their expertise to lure you with hyperlinks that don’t just grab you’re attention but also encourage you to click immediately.

  • Don’t take friend requests from strangers.
  • Make sure to update the software you use to log into Facebook and other social accounts! This is vital because the developers provide updates when they find vulnerabilities. However, hackers attempt to exploit these weaknesses when they’re discovered.
  • While cybercriminals are primarily targeting accounts for business, the majority of messages that are phishing on social networks are targeted at individuals rather than email addresses for companies. Be cautious about the request for contact information and verification requests on social media; be sure to check the sender’s credentials closely.
  • Don’t use the same username and password for all your accounts since if one gets stolen, all of your accounts could be compromised.
  • Check your privacy settings on a regular basis. There is a method to alter the privacy settings on social media sites without even noticing. Be aware of how your profile, as well as the content you upload, is seen by other users.
  • Don’t download any unwanted software or click on URLs in pop-ups or emails which pop up while browsing. Social networks don’t usually require additional software pieces to download to your personal computer.
  • To ensure that user communications privacy, identity, and browsing are private, search for the secure URL of the website page that is HTTPS. Pay particular focus on links that are shortened, which are often used by fraudsters.
  • It is important to teach your children not to be exposed to scams.
  • Do not click the links to update your personal details. Instead, go to the support pages of your platform to find out what changes are required and how to complete them.