Two common social media scams and how to avoid them
Two common social media scams and how to avoid them
Financial Health
September 9, 2015

Two common social media scams and how to avoid them

Card cracking and clickjacking – among the latest social media scams – use hyperlinks or promises of financial windfalls to defraud you or steal your identity.

Scammers are expanding their use of social media to commit fraud through “card cracking” and “clickjacking” — two of the most common forms of social media scams.

Card cracking

In card cracking1, scammers recruit participants through social media posts to assist them in committing fraud. Here is how it works:

  1. A scammer posts an offer on social media (usually Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram) about making quick and easy money, and you respond.
  2. The scammer asks you for your debit card and PIN, or username and password, to deposit a check into your account.
  3. In exchange for the information, the scammer promises that you will be allowed to keep a portion of the money deposited.
  4. After receiving your account information, the scammer deposits a fake or stolen check and then immediately withdraws the amount of the deposited funds from your account.
  5. The scammer may go a step further and direct you to report a lost or stolen card to your bank to seek reimbursement for the “stolen funds.”

If you participate in a card cracking scam, you could lose more than just the funds in your account. It is illegal to knowingly deposit bad checks and can result in hefty fines and criminal charges. You could also find it more difficult to open a checking account or credit card in the future since your participation turns you into a co-conspirator.


In clickjacking, scammers try to trick you into clicking on a malicious link by hiding it under another hyperlink you want to click on. This can result in unknowingly downloading malware or revealing sensitive information.

For example, scammers may claim to be from a legitimate business, offering a coupon or special deal. Here is how this scam works:

  • You click on a seemingly harmless link on social media.
  • The link directs you to a survey page asking for personal or account information.
  • You complete the survey, not realizing sensitive information is being shared with the scammer.

If you fall for a clickjacking scam, you may disclose sensitive information that could put you at risk for fraud or identity theft.

How to avoid being scammed on social media

  • Do not respond to online solicitations from people you do not know.
  • Never share your account information with others.
  • If you see a suspicious post, report it to the social media site. Suspicious posts may include:
    • Unrealistic promises. If it seems too good to be true, it usually is.
    • Requests for account information. Scammers usually ask for information that a bank would not request through social media.
    • A limited-time offer or urgent response required. Scammers want to motivate you to act fast so that you do not hesitate in providing the information requested.

If you notice suspicious activity or unauthorized transactions on your Wells Fargo account, or have reason to believe your account has been compromised, contact us immediately at 800-869-3557. To report a suspicious email, text, or phone call that claims to be from Wells Fargo, follow these instructions.

Two common social media scams and how to avoid them

1 Source: “Card Cracking,” American Bankers Association, 2015