Alabamians lost $53M in fraud in 2022; up 35% from previous year

Published: Apr. 7, 2023 at 2:10 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabamians lost a collective $53 million to fraud in 2022.

Dr. Ragib Hasan is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at UAB. He said social media is the main platform scammers use, and they are evolving to make their scams more believable. He said they have been hacking into social media accounts and messaging that person’s friends for money.

“Now, if your grandma or your friend or your brother asks for money, probably, they’re more likely to believe that message than from a random person,” said Hasan.

Hasan said since the pandemic, people who did not have social media previously made accounts to stay connected. That has made those new accounts easier targets.

If you receive a message from one of your friends asking for money, look for abnormal behavior, like a sense of urgency to transfer the money.

If there is a link, do not click it. Often times that link gives scammers the ability to get into your accounts.

It’s best to avoid any interaction if the messages do not look right, and call your friend or message them another way.

“Because of the psychological mind games they are playing, a lot of people are falling victim to that.”

If your account is hacked, Hasan recommends changing your password for all your social media accounts and turning on two-factor authorization. Then call law enforcement so they are aware of the techniques scammers are using.

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