Oversharing On Social Media Blamed For Fraud Rise


Oversharing ion social media allows fraudsters a way to steal your money without you even realising, warns a leading bank.

The trend is blamed on celebrities trying to build an online brand who tell fans too much about their lives on web sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Top of the fraud risk list is stars posting pictures and information about pets on Instagram which can lead to identity theft because many people include their pet names in passwords, data protection specialists at Santander explained.

Their research revealed 87% of under 25s have shared personal information on social media.

Passwords revealed

Of these, 10% had told their followers and friends their pet’s name, which compromised their online accounts because the name was also their password.


Other key data for fraudsters includes birthdays and their partners’ names and birthdays.

The survey also found 78% of under 25s did not know how to safeguard their online data.

Chris Ainsley, head of fraud strategy at Santander, said: “Make sure you get the balance right and don’t give fraudsters an easy ride. Check your privacy settings are on, stay vigilant and consider what you’re giving away before hitting post.”

The bank is concerned as separate data from the UK’s official fraud-busting service Cifas shows a 26% rise in the number of under 21-year-olds falling victim to fraudsters in 2018.

Data sold on dark web

Cifas also found two thirds of identity fraud victims exposed their personal information through social media or were victims of hackers.

“Data sold on the surface web is cheaper than on the dark web, however there is a higher risk of buying and selling on the surface web as it lacks the anonymity that the dark web provides. Personal information of victims of impersonation could be located on surface web forums, listed as ‘Fullz’,” says Cifas.

“These profiles have often been copied and pasted multiple times, containing information such as name, date of birth, banking details, security questions and answers. These profiles were often found on publicly open forums and on forums which have been taken over by sellers of personal data and not in line with the original creation of that forum.”

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