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Social media is emerging as the new hunting ground for scammers to find victims, according to new data out today.
Fake trader scams are increasing, where victims see advertisements for online stores on social media selling discounted products made by well-known brands.
The ACCC says many of these online stores are fake and victims buy goods that do not exist.
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A woman in her 50s, known by the pseudonym Jillian, was contacted by a scammer via Facebook Messenger last year."I'd come out of a long-term relationship, and I was vulnerable," she told the ABC."I'd been swimming and I came out of the pool and there was a message on Messenger, and I was very curious."I hit on it and it was this chappy and he said he was a colonel in the American Army and he was widowed."Initially it sounded quite genuine." She said she felt "buoyed" when she kept messaging with him over the course of a week.
"I kept receiving messages, but when I asked him a question — I didn't suss it straight away — but I then realised he was never actually answering my questions," Jillian said.
Sextortion, an emerging scam, also uses social media to gain access to victims.
It is a form of blackmail, with compromising images of the victim used to extort money."We saw a large number of people who had shared intimate videos or photos with someone they'd met online, then being blackmailed and asked for large amounts of money, otherwise these people would release these very embarrassing images to all of that person's friends and family," Ms Rickard said.
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