KV News

When Trust Betrays: The Dark Side of Influencer-Backed Scams

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By: Dr Mudasir Ahmad Gori

Online scamming can occur in any region, including Kashmir. Online scams can take various forms, such as phishing, fake websites, identity theft, investment fraud, and more. It’s important for individuals to be aware of common online scams and take measures to protect themselves. Here are some general tips to avoid falling victim to online scams:

  • Be cautious with emails: Avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloading attachments from unknown sources. Phishing emails often appear legitimate but may lead to fraudulent websites designed to steal your personal information.
  • Use strong, unique passwords: Create strong and unique passwords for your online accounts. Avoid using the same password across multiple platforms. Consider using a password manager to generate and store complex passwords.
  • Secure your devices: Keep your devices, including computers and smartphones, updated with the latest security patches and antivirus software. This helps protect against malware and other security threats.
  • Verify websites: Before providing any personal or financial information online, make sure the website is secure. Look for “https://” in the URL and check for a padlock icon in the address bar. Be cautious of fake websites that mimic legitimate ones.
  • Beware of investment scams: Be skeptical of unsolicited investment opportunities, especially those promising high returns with little risk. Research and verify the legitimacy of investment opportunities before committing any funds.
  • Protect personal information: Avoid sharing sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers, bank account details, or credit card information, unless it is absolutely necessary and the website is secure.
  • Educate yourself: Stay informed about common online scams and fraud tactics. Being aware of the latest scams can help you recognize and avoid potential threats.
  • Monitor your accounts: Regularly review your bank statements, credit reports, and online accounts for any unauthorized or suspicious activity. Report any discrepancies to your financial institution immediately.

If people have been influenced or misled by social media influencers promoting fraudulent companies, they should take several steps to protect themselves and report the fraudulent activity. Here’s what individuals can do:

  • Stop Engaging:

. Cease any further interaction with the fraudulent company or its promoters.

. Do not make any additional payments or provide more personal information.

  • Document Everything:

. Save screenshots of the influencer’s posts or promotions related to the fraudulent company.

. Keep records of any communication, including messages or emails.

  • Report to Social Media Platforms:

. Report the influencer and the fraudulent content to the social media platform. Most platforms have mechanisms for reporting fraudulent or misleading content.

. Provide details and evidence of the misleading promotions.

  • Warn Others:

. Share your experience on social media to warn others in your network about the fraudulent activity.

. Encourage others to be cautious and skeptical of promotions from influencers, especially those related to financial investments or services.

  • Contact Authorities:

. Report the fraudulent activity to relevant authorities, such as local law enforcement agencies or consumer protection agencies.

. Provide them with the evidence you have collected.

  • Seek Legal Advice:

. Consult with legal professionals to understand your rights and options.

. In some cases, legal action may be possible against both the fraudulent company and the influencers involved.

  • Review Financial Statements:

. If you have made any payments to the fraudulent company, review your financial statements carefully.

. Contact your bank or credit card Company to report unauthorized transactions and seek their guidance on potential charge backs.

  • Stay Informed:

. Keep yourself informed about common scams and fraudulent activities to avoid falling victim to similar schemes in the future.

It’s important for individuals to take swift action to protect themselves and others from the consequences of fraudulent promotions. Social media platforms, when informed, may take actions against influencers who violate their policies. Additionally, reporting to law enforcement and other relevant authority’s helps in investigating and taking legal actions against fraudulent companies and individuals.






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