The beginning of a year gives us a reason to do better than what we have been doing so far. Most of us make new resolutions, take up new interests, improve and build relationships at work and home, and so on. Then there are those who work tirelessly to invent newer and sneakier ways to trick people – yes, they are our infamous neighbors on the Internet – scammers, hackers, and cyber criminals. And looks like, this year, they have come up with a new trick to scam people on Facebook. Read on.
A scam is running unrestrained on Facebook that is fooling people by having them take an IQ (intelligence quotient) test. This is how it works.
An innocuous looking pop-up ad on Facebook tells you about how two of your friends took an IQ test and came to know how intelligent they are, and that you should take the test too; it will only take a few minutes. And you think, “Well, it won’t hurt to test how intelligent I am, will it?” So, you take the test enthusiastically, and brave every question it throws at you. When you get to the last question, you are asked to provide your phone number so that your IQ score can be texted to you. You think again, “It won’t hurt to share my number. After all, they will only text me my score”. So, without any ominous feeling whatsoever, you willingly give away your phone number.
And this is where, the scammers trick you. By giving away your number, you are actually signing up for a subscription which you have no knowledge about. The condition that signs you up, is present in the form a very fine print with the last question of the test, which most fail to recognize. According to Better Business Bureau (BBB), the subscription charges money directly on your phone bill for services that you never wanted or don’t want. These could include services related to horoscopes, sports, jokes, wallpapers, ringtones, etc.
Sneaky, isn’t it! All this scam needs to do is to call out to the emotion that makes us competitive and urges us to do better than the others.
So, what’s the precaution against such scams?
Never provide your phone number in response to such invitations or any website for that matter. Websites like Google, Facebook, Twitter and the like also use your phone number, but they have their privacy policies in place, which protect your private information. This is not the case with every online service. So, it is best to be a scrooge when it comes to sharing your personal information online.
If you think you should share this piece of info with your friends, family and colleagues, click here to share it on your social networks. You can even email it to them by using the yellow envelope icon below. Stay safe!