/ Technology

Scam watch: this viral Royal Wedding tweet could steal your passwords

With millions celebrating the Royal Wedding around the world over the weekend and since, scammers have seen a golden opportunity – and thousands could have fallen into the trap.

Wouldn’t it have been a treat to go to the Royal Wedding? The pomp, the procedure and the controversial BYO sandwiches.

Unfortunately most of us had to make do with our sitting rooms instead of Windsor Castle. To soften the blow, some of us might have even imagined our lives if we were nobility.

But some cruel scammers looked to prey on these dreams and devised a cunning scheme to score your personal data.

Fortunately, one helpful Twitter user was on hand to warn people that the meme was ‘quite literally’ asking you for the answers to common security questions.

Watch what you share in public

It can be easy to be swept up in the moment and want to be included in an online game – but for your own safety, stop and take a minute to think about what you’re sharing in such a public forum.

Whether it’s making your ‘royal name’ or ‘stripper name’ (another common social media scam), if you see anything dodgy, why not report it just to be safe?

We have free guide on how to spot a social media scam. If you think you’ve found one, we can help you report it and show you who to get in contact with.

Social media companies have ways for you to alert them to offensive, dangerous or scam posts. You can usually do this by clicking on the arrow or ellipses to the right of the post.

And if you can’t resist joining in, maybe just say the result aloud to yourself instead of posting it to social media where billions could potentially see it.

Fake your security questions

Another tactic is to lie in your answers to the security questions. You’re not under oath, they’re just simply a means to get access to your account.

So if you think you could remember something different, use it. One of the most commonly asked questions is your mother’s maiden name so you could put her first name, your favourite childhood cuddly toy or anything else which makes sense to you.

You can also use the questions to get creative or harbour secret wishes, for example: Favourite colour? Marigold; First boyfriend? Brad Pitt; First job? CEO.

Did you see this social media scam do the rounds before the wedding? Or have you seen any other similar ones? Share your experiences below.

Comments
Anne says:
26 May 2018

Why did you send on 24 May a newsletter asking me what I planned to do on 19th May?

There is one very good way to protect your data: don’t use social media. I don’t have any of them and I’m sure that has helped me to stay safe. Yes, I do internet banking and purchases but I try to stay vigilant with many password changes. I never open suspicious emails and never respond to any that request data from me.

Trevor says:
27 May 2018

I thought the whole thing was a scam and very successful – £30 million of tax payers money would be most scammers’ dream.