Testimonial videos as ransom: Scammers “promise” to restore your hijacked social media account or “return” your stolen money — all empty promises.

Last Updated: April 1, 2024By Tags: , , ,

It’s always a guarantee if someone is kidnapped that a ransom is demanded. Unfortunately, paying a ransom doesn’t always ensure that the kidnapped person will be returned, unharmed. We’ve all read too many articles and watched so many television series and films to know that the outcomes are often not good. So, too, with social media hijackings.

Here’s the scenario: After stealing your money in an investment scheme or bogus “sweepstakes” scheme or commandeering your social media account, fraudsters ramp up the initial scamming scheme another notch by promising they’ll return your cash or return control of your social media account if you perform a simple task. That task is to force you into making a testimonial video stating (ironically) that you’ve made money in the fraud (that landed you in this pickle), and that it’s real and trustworthy. These scumbags will then post your (insincere) video on your social media account since they still have control over it. If you think these criminals will make good on their promise — forget about it. They’ll just continue to post whatever they like — and plumb your followers as well.

How to protect yourself

Refuse demands to make a video, recommends Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center. “We tell everyone, ‘You won’t get your account or your money back’,” she says. “And it could just further the scam with your friends.”

Beware of this Facebook video scam

From Aura.com:

“Is this you in this video?” link scams

This is a common Facebook Messenger scam designed to play on your curiosity. You receive a message — usually from someone on your friends list — about a photo or video that you’re supposedly in. They provide a link; but if you click on it, you’re taken to a fake website that asks for login details or infects your device with malware.

What to do if you receive an “Is this you in this video?” link:

Ignore suspicious messages. Resist the temptation to click on the link or respond to the message. It’s best to ignore these messages completely.
Use Safe Browsing tools. Aura can recognize and automatically block or warn you of fake websites before you enter personal information and passwords.
Report the account and message to Facebook. These scams sometimes come from real people on your friends list whose accounts were taken over by a scammer. If you suspect this, it’s a good idea to report it to Facebook.

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