Social media has become a breeding ground for scams, and the recent Twitter breach is just one symptom of a greater issue.
You should always be wary of any individual who reaches out to you via social media asking for money, regardless of the reason.
One truth that exacerbates this is that anyone with a working internet connection can create a social media account, and for many platforms, identifying and removing fake accounts is a perpetual uphill battle. Some popular platforms have even been known to turn a blind eye and allow scammers to advertise on their site.
Keep in mind
- You should always verify the identity and legitimacy of any individual that you're interested in transacting or corresponding with. See also: Romance scams
- While there are many legitimate independent brokers out there, they will not correspond with you via Whatsapp.
- Legit companies should have an official company site that you can access. Always DYOR (do your own research), and check out when their site was registered using tools such as Whois. Sites that are less than 6 months old are a big no-no, and sites that are less than a year old require further research on your part.
- You should be wary of friend/contact requests from individuals that you do not know in person or at all.
- Just because it's a paid advertisement, does not mean it's legitimate.
- You should trust your instinct and be on the lookout for offers that seem too good to be true. These could include investment opportunities, get rich quick schemes, unusual work opportunities or free money in any form.
- If you were sent funds in order to purchase on the behalf of another individual(s), this is more than likely money laundering, for which you may be held accountable.