TikTok is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, which is no small feat. But with such widespread usage comes downsides, such as serious concerns regarding privacy issues, data breaches, and online safety over inappropriate content.
And now we have a new TikTok-related concern in the form of scams targeting users of all ages on the platform. As this is a major security and safety issue, we're going to take a look at what these scams are and how to stay safe from them.
If you need support or just someone to talk to, our Sonder support team is available 24/7 to chat whenever you need it.
What kind of TikTok scams are there?
Social media platform scams are nothing new and TikTok is far from the first to have them. As such, we can recognise the types of scams going around and what you need to keep an eye on. Common TikTok scams include:
Fake giveaways: Scammers pose as famous TikTokers and hold giveaways in exchange for follows and likes. They may ask for personal information and/or money to participate in these fake giveaways, which can then lead to identity theft or financial loss.
Investment schemes: Scammers claim to have insider information about a 'hot' stock or cryptocurrency and convince users to invest in it by promising high returns and/or using fake testimonials to gain trust. These are basically pyramid schemes or simply a way to steal money.
Fake merchandise: Scammers sell fake or counterfeit products, such as clothing or beauty items. They may use influencers to promote these products as a way to "legitimise" them so users are convinced to buy. These items are typically poor quality and can even be dangerous.
Phishing scams: Scammers send messages to users posing as the platform or a legitimate company and ask for login credentials or other personal information. They may use this information to steal money or commit identity theft.
Romance scams: Scammers will create fake profiles to 'catfish' and prey on vulnerable users looking for love through psychological manipulation.
How can I stay safe?
The easiest way to stay safe from TikTok scams is to simply stop using the app and delete it. If you simply must use TikTok, then make sure you keep the following tips in mind:
Be wary of offers that seem too good to be true - They usually are.
Be wary of scammers pretending to be TikTok employees, a celebrity, or a rep from a legitimate company.
Celebrities and TikTok will never contact you on the platform asking for money, personal information, or login details.
Always verify the identity of a person or company.
Avoid sharing any personal information on the app, especially with strangers and people you do not know.
Keep your profile private so fewer people can see it.
Only allow your friends to send you messages.
Turn off the default setting to ‘suggest your account to others’ and ignore requests for sharing information.
Don’t overshare - Keep private any details about yourself - age, full name, or any identifiable locations.
Report potential scams under “Frauds and Scams” so that TikTok can take immediate action and stay up-to-date on the latest scams.
If you are a parent, ensure that if your child is under 13 you are using the separate privacy settings for under 13’s - This setting restricts data gathering and limits the collection of data. Make sure to enable 'Restricted Mode' in the app, which limits the appearance of content that may not be appropriate for all audiences.
If you've shared personal and/or financial information with a scammer on TikTok, follow these steps right away:
If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app to connect to our team of qualified, caring health professionals.
Information sourced from: All About Cookies, TikTok, and Welivesecurity
Image credit: Solen Feyissa at Unsplash
All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.