Content starts here
AARP AARP States Maryland Scams & Fraud

Take Care Before You Share on Social Media

woman using tablet computer on sofa

Let’s be honest, most of us have done it: taking one of those viral social media quizzes or threads that seem so fun and innocent. Post a picture of your first car. What cartoon princess are you? What record was number one the year you graduated high school?

Data phishing concept background. Online scam, malware and passw

They may seem like harmless fun, but the Better Business Bureau and digital security companies warn that criminals sometimes use quizzes to pry loose personal data.

Launching a quiz app may give its creators permission to pull information from your profile, offering hackers an opening to steal your online identity. Here are three social media scams to avoid.

  • Avoid queries about innocent-sounding things like your high school mascot or first car that might be linked to common security questions that banks and financial firms use to protect accounts.
  • Be suspicious of any personal messages appearing to come from celebrities you follow. Criminals often impersonate celebrities online, offer special access for a price, or ask for help with a new investment or charitable contributions.
  • Another classic social media scam involves a direct message from one of your personal contacts asking “Is this a picture of you” with a link to click on. Clicking the link takes you to a site that mimics one of the popular social networks and prompts you to log in, a ploy for hackers to get your credentials and access your account.

Be a fraud fighter!  If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam. 

Visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at  or call the AARP Fraud Watch Helpline at 1-877-908-3360.

About AARP Maryland
Contact information and more from your state office. Learn what we are doing to champion social change and help you live your best life.