Camden, N.J. – As New Jersey nears the two-month mark of the stay-at-home order, people may be turning to social media more than ever to stay connected. While your online networks can provide a sense of community, the sudden increase in posting can also provide an opportunity for scammers.
“In the first weeks of quarantine, it was normal for people to try to limit their online time and social media usage,” said Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer. “As time goes on, we’re seeing people let their guards down a little bit. That leads to more posts, which in turn means more of your information is out there.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, social media photos were often posed or planned, giving a small snapshot into someone’s daily life. To ease anxiety and stay connected, the photos have become more candid. Detectives said that candidness is what could give a scammer information they need to steal your identity.
“One of the trends now is to post your high school graduation photo with the name of the school you graduated from,” said Mayer. “While it may seem fun to share this information, you should think about how that personal information could be used against you.”
Investigators said that information can be one of the answers to the security questions asked when trying to change a password, and giving scammers easy access your accounts.
Online quizzes and challenges can be a fun way to pass time, but they can also list a lot of personal information. The next time you’re feeling bored and go to post, make sure to check the photo for any papers containing an address, account number, or other data.
Remember, it only takes a minute to publish a photo, and it only takes scammers a few moments to steal important information.