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Too good to be true? Fake ads on social media

Social media is more heavily populated with adverts than ever before, with targeted adverts directly advertising the products and services that you’re looking for. But behind many of these adverts are scammers, hoping to lure you in with an offer that is far too good to be true. 

How can you tell if an advert is fake?

According to Which?, one in six people have been targeted by a fake advert on social media. Many of these adverts can look realistic, particularly on social media where apps like Facebook and Instagram help you to create an advert that appeals to users. They might use images from legitimate websites or adverts, well-known faces like celebrities or even videos created with AI to convince you to click. However, just because something looks the part, it doesn’t mean that it is.

  1. Does that deal seem realistic?

    With the cost of living crisis, everyone is looking to grab a bargain; however, some of these bargains are literally too good to be true. If you’re looking at a product or service that is retailed at a much higher price elsewhere, is heavily discounted or even offered for free, this should set off your alarm bells.

    Businesses need to make a profit in order to continue operating, and if they’re not able to profit from selling their products or services to you, they might be making a profit by selling your information to others. Do not put your card information, or any personal information into a website online if you’re not absolutely sure of its legitimacy.

  2. Have you checked Trustpilot or CustomerSure for reviews?

    An advert on social media might feature hundreds of five star reviews; however, it’s difficult to prove the legitimacy of these. Instead of trusting the advert, write the name of the business into a search engine alongside Trustpilot or CustomerSure.

    These websites are online review communities where genuine buyers post their reviews of businesses, so that prospective buyers can make purchases confidently online. Although businesses can respond, they cannot edit the reviews on either of these websites, which means the reviews there are reviews you can trust.

  3. Can you see ‘https://’ in the URL?

    Online selling platforms like Amazon and Ebay have https:// at the beginning of their URL. This means that any information or data you input on this website has a high level of security and encryption. This is absolutely essential when you’re purchasing a product or a service online; without https://, your information is much more vulnerable.

    Illegitimate websites aren’t likely to use https://, because it is expensive and it is going to obstruct their access to your personal information. Do not make purchases on a website where this isn’t a feature, and you can avoid being scammed.

  4. Has it asked for your card information?

    A website that is looking to steal your information might wait until you’re at the checkout; however, it might also prompt you to make an account before you’ve even selected your purchase. Many of these fake adverts will take you to a page that either steals your information on arrival, or will ask you to put your information in once you hit the landing page.

    No website should ask for your card information before you have made a purchase. If you do receive a prompt asking you for this information, it is likely to be a scam.

Think you’ve found a fake advert? You can report it here


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Find out what they're saying here.
Very friendly and helpful. Doesn't presume that you know much but at the same time doesn't speak to you as if you know nothing. Very pleased with my contact. Christine Gibbs, KSA Group Ltd

Based on 11207 reviews our customers rate us 9.8/10. Reviews and ratings by Customersure. 17-January-2024

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