HPD warns of social media scams

The Helena Police Department has urged social media users to be wary of certain pages posing as companies that try to trick victims by giving away fake prizes. (File)

The Helena Police Department has urged social media users to be wary of certain pages posing as companies that try to trick victims by giving away fake prizes on social media. (File)

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–The Helena Police Department shared some valuable information pertaining to free giveaways and prizes supposedly given out by companies on social media sites.

HPD shared a post on their Facebook page on Sept. 5, warning any individuals who share or reply to pages on social media sites to try and receive a free cruise, vacation or other prize to be wary.

“If you share or reply to pages from companies like Disney, Disney Cruise Line, etc. when they are saying if you do something you will win a trip, or cruise or other prize, look closely,” said HPD.

The department urged social media users to closely analyze logos and said most pages that appear to be real, are actually fake. The pages are created as click bait sites that try to steal information and to increase web traffic on their pages while never giving any prizes away.

HPD also said that if a person shares certain fake social media posts, they increase the likelihood of getting hit with malware or spam that further puts them at risk.

HPD said if something seems like it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

“If you have fallen victim to these sites, and you feel your personal information may be violated, contact one of the “Big three” credit bureaus and place a fraud alert on your credit file. This will red flag your account for any activity for a period of 90 days and they will notify you if any potential fraudulent activity happens on your account,” HPD said.

A victim may also contact the Helena Police Department at 663-6499 for help.

A website that helps social media users identity scams and fake offers can be found here: Consumeraffairs.com/news/new-facebook-like-farming-scam-offers-disney-world-vacation-as-bait-051415.html.