Eye on Scams: Think twice about taking Facebook quizzes

Eye on Scams

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- With most of the U.S. under orders to stay at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are turning to social media for a fun distraction.

Experts are warning consumers to think twice before taking online quizzes on social media while quarantined.

Taking a Facebook quiz may seem like a harmless way to pass the time while quarantined, but it could also give scammers access to your personal information.
You see a fun quiz on Facebook or another social media platform. ​

Harmless, right? Not so much.​ You answer a few questions and prove how well you know a friend or you take a short personality test to match with a character from your favorite TV show.​

“With these Facebook quizzes, they’re asking questions such as ‘What is your mother’s maiden name?’ ‘Which street did you grow up on?’ Things like that, and those mirror some of our security questions that gain access to our banking information,” Laurian Clause, with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana, said.

Experts warn sharing this information can lead to your accounts being hacked.​ Your personal and financial information can also be stolen.​​

“We’re not really having our guard up about these things and think it’s just a game to play and don’t think anything past it so we just need to make sure our consumers are aware, and we don’t want them sharing that information,” explained Clause.​

Not all social media quizzes are data collection scams, but the Better Business Bureau cautions users to be careful about what they share online.

Social media data and quiz answers can be used to steal your identity or enable a scammer to impersonate you.​​

“Through Facebook, they can impersonate another person and reach out through messenger once they’ve had this information such as a maiden name or your mother’s maiden name or street name so it seems like a friend is reaching out,” said Clause.

Here are some tips from the Better Business Bureau on how to avoid this social media scam:

  • Be skeptical: Before you take a quiz, figure out who created it. 
  • Adjust your privacy settings: Be strict about what information you share.​
  • Remove personal details from your profile.​
  • Don’t give answers to common security questions.​
  • Monitor friend requests. Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know.

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