Social media scams

Social media is a great way to connect with family, chat with friends and stay up to date with the latest news. But with around 85% of the UK on social media, it’s no wonder it’s become the latest stomping ground for scammers.

So, with social media scams on the rise, here’s how you can spot and avoid them. 

Common social media scams to look out for


A scammer sends you a message on social media that appears to be from someone you know, a well-known brand or celebrity or a legitimate source, such as your bank or social media platform. The message will usually ask you to click on a link and enter your login details. Once you do, the scammer will have access to your account and can steal your personal information.

To avoid phishing scams, always double-check where the message has come from and whether the web address looks legitimate. Remember, you should never click on links from unknown sources.

Fake advertisements

Scammers create fake advertisements for free giveaways, products or investment opportunities — sometimes they claim they’re endorsed by celebrities. To register, you’ll be asked to provide personal information, such as your name, address and phone number. This information could then be used by the scammer for identity theft, where they can gain access to your other accounts, including your bank.

To avoid this scam, you should never share your personal information with unknown sources, and you should avoid any offers that look too good to be true.

Romance scams

A scammer will contact you out of the blue and form a relationship with you online, often sharing personal stories over the course of a few weeks or months. They’ll then ask you to send them money, often for an emergency, travel expenses or business opportunity. Find out more about romance scams here.

To avoid this scam, you should keep your social media accounts on private and only accept friend requests and messages from people you know.

How to protect yourself from social media scams

  1. Always double-check the sender’s profile before clicking on any links or providing personal information.

  2. Look out for messages that are meant to be from legitimate sources but have lots of spelling and grammar mistakes.

  3. Be wary if you’re offered anything that seems too good to be true — like a free iPhone or a risk-free investment opportunity.

  4. Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication on your social media accounts to add an extra layer of security. You’ll be able to do this in the settings section of your social media app or website.

  5. Keep your social media profiles private and only accept friend requests from people you know.

Most of us use social media regularly, and it can be easy to feel a false sense of security when we’re on it. But it’s important to always stay vigilant, because it’s becoming an increasingly popular place for scammers to find new victims.

For more information on how to avoid social media scams, check out Get Safe Online.

How to report a scam

If you think you might have been a victim of a scam or notice a suspicious transaction on your Zopa account, please get in touch. 


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Other scams to be aware of

Investment and crypto scams

Investment and crypto scams are when a scammer encourages you to give them money to invest on your behalf.

The investment opportunity turns out to be fake and the scammer disappears with your money.

Scammers may also persuade you to take out a loan to fund this so-called investment.

Learn more

Suspicious email, texts and calls

Scammers may use emails (phishing), texts (smishing) and calls (vishing) to trick you into handing over your personal information or clicking a dodgy link.

They usually do this by pretending to be from a company you know or trust, like your bank, HMRC or Royal Mail.

Learn more

Romance scams

Romance scams are when a scammer befriends you using a fake profile. They build a relationship with you over the course of weeks or months before convincing you to give them money.

Scammers use a range of tactics to gain your trust, such as sending gifts, offering compliments or sharing personal stories.

Learn more

How Zopa protects you and your money from fraudsters

Read about the latest scams, how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you've been a victim of fraud.

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