If you’re a Tiktok user, you’ve probably heard that scams on the social media platform are on the rise. With over a billion users, it’s no wonder that criminals have started seeing the platform as a gold mine for potential targets.
In this article, we’ll teach you about some of the most common TikTok scams out there. More importantly, we’ll give you a few tips so you can continue using the platform safely.
We’ve checked the latest reports and reviewed various online sources to understand how newer TikTok scams work. We’ve also gathered tips from internet experts to know the best ways to protect yourself on TikTok.
When you don’t know what you’re up against, you’re more vulnerable to scams and other attacks. Keep reading until the very end to find out what your best defense is against TikTok scams.
Taking precautions is a great idea, but no safety measure is 100% secure. One accidental click could be enough for someone to steal your identity!
That’s why you should have a backup plan like Aura just in case. Aura is an expert in identity theft protection and financial fraud who will:
You never know when you might be vulnerable, so make sure you have a safe backup plan instead.
Most common TikTok scams to watch out for
Scammers are getting more and more creative and innovative in their methods of tricking people into giving them information and getting access to their accounts. There are several methods that they use, and not knowing even just one of them can make you an easy target.
Some of their methods include:
1. Fake giveaways
In these scams, scammers will promise you free gifts or products if you like and share a post or click on a link.
However, the link takes you to a fake website that asks for personal information, such as your name, address, and credit card number. The scammers then use this information to commit identity theft or fraud.
If you're unsure about whether a giveaway is real or not, you can check if the TikTok account is verified. If it's verified, it's a good sign that the account running the giveaway is legitimate.
You can also contact the company directly to ask if they're running any giveaways on TikTok. Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is!
2. Phishing emails
The scam involves an email that looks like it's from TikTok, asking you to click on a link to verify your account. But when you click on the link, it takes you to a fake website that looks very similar to the real TikTok login page.
The fake website then asks for your TikTok username and password. If you enter your credentials, the scammers will have access to your account and can do whatever they want with it.
There have been reports of people having their accounts hacked and used to post spam content, so it's important to be vigilant.
If you receive any suspicious emails purporting to be from TikTok, make sure to delete them immediately and don’t click on any links. And if you're ever unsure about whether an email is legitimate or not, you can always contact TikTok directly to ask.
3. Impersonation of celebrities and TikTok personalities
The TikTok impersonation scam works like this: a scammer will create a fake account that looks like a celebrity or another well-known user.
They'll then post videos asking for donations, claiming that the money will be used for a good cause. However, the account is actually fake, and the money will go into the scammer's pocket.
Scammers also impersonate famous personalities on Tiktok to post videos that are actually just ads for scams or fake products. Sometimes, these videos even include links to malicious websites.
The scammers hope that people will mistake their fake account for the real one and click on the links, giving them access to personal information or infecting their devices with malware.
If you see a video from someone you follow that looks suspicious, make sure to check the URL to make sure it's really from their official account. And if you're thinking about donating to someone on TikTok, be sure to do your research first to make sure that the account is real.
4. Bot accounts
If you're active on TikTok, you've probably seen bot accounts – accounts that churn out videos automatically, often using the same hashtags and content over and over. These bot accounts can be annoying, but they're generally harmless.
However, a new type of scam uses these TikTok bot accounts to follow you and like your videos and then direct message you asking for personal information or money. They may even promise to pay you if you send them explicit videos or pictures.
If you receive a message from a TikTok bot account asking for personal information or money, don't respond. Block the account and report it to TikTok immediately.
5. TikTok romance scam
Romance scams are nothing new, but they're becoming more and more common on social media platforms like Tiktok. In a romance scam, someone pretends to be looking for a romantic relationship online to take advantage of the other person emotionally and/or financially.
These scammers are often very manipulative and can be very convincing. They may start by building up a relationship with their victim by sending them flattering messages and engaging in regular conversations.
They may even send gifts or flowers. Eventually, they'll start to ask for money, often promising to pay it back once they're in a better financial situation. In reality, they have no intention of ever paying the money back.
If you're ever approached by someone online who seems too good to be true, be cautious. Do a little research before you get involved.
There are many resources available that can help you spot a romance scammer. If you think you may be talking to one, it's best to cut off all communication and report the person to the proper authorities.
Who do TikTok scammers typically target?
Anyone can be a victim of a TikTok scam, but certain groups are more likely to be targeted.
- Young people. This is especially true for those who are trying to become famous on the app. They may be lured by promises of fame and fortune and sign up for bogus opportunities that ask for personal information or money.
- Older adults. This goes for those who may be unfamiliar with the app and its potential dangers. They may be tempted to download it without realizing that criminals can use it to scam people.
- Businesses. Businesses often use the app to reach a large audience. These businesses may lose money if they fall for a scammer's request for payment or advertising.
Regardless of age or experience, it's important to be aware of the dangers of TikTok scams and take steps to protect yourself. If you're unsure about whether a video is legitimate, you can check with TikTok's Safety Center before viewing it.
How do you stay safe on TikTok?
With over a billion active users, TikTok is one of the most popular social media platforms out there. And while it’s a great way to connect with friends and express yourself, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks involved. Here are some tips to help you stay safe on TikTok:
1. Don’t share personal information
Limit the amount of personal information you share on TikTok. You should never post your full name, address, phone number, or other sensitive information on any social media platform.
Only share information that you feel comfortable sharing with the public. If someone asks for this information, don’t hesitate to report them.
2. Be mindful of what you post
Once something is posted online, it’s difficult to take back. So think carefully before you hit that share button – you don’t want to regret it later.
3. Keep your account private
Be aware of the platform’s safety and privacy settings, and make sure you understand how your personal information will be used. This will help to prevent strangers from viewing your content or messaging you.
TikTok offers a number of privacy and security options, so take the time to review these before you start using the platform.
4. Be aware of the apps you’re using
Only download apps from trusted sources, and make sure they’ve been updated recently. A lot of fake apps are designed specifically to mimic the original ones. They'll make you access your account by entering your login credentials, only to steal your information once they have it.
5. Report any inappropriate content or behavior on TikTok.
The platform has strict community guidelines that prohibit harassment, bullying, and other forms of misconduct. If you see something that violates these guidelines, report it to TikTok immediately.
Finally, our top tip for protecting yourself on TikTok: Be cautious when interacting with people you don’t know. Be careful about who you add as a friend or follower on TikTok.
Like any social media platform, TikTok offers you the ability to connect with other users. However, you should only interact with people you know and trust. As the age-old saying goes, “Don’t talk to strangers.”
Scammers are very good at making you feel comfortable and complacent. They’ll make you lower your guard only to strike when you least expect it. That’s why they’re sometimes even called “scam artists,” right?
Don’t accept friend or follow requests from people you don’t know, and don’t follow accounts that make you feel uncomfortable. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable on the platform, block them and report their account.
What can you do if you've been scammed on TikTok?
If you’ve been scammed on TikTok, there are a few things you can do.
1. Report the scammer to TikTok
First, report the account that scammed you to TikTok. You can do this by going to the account, tapping the three dots in the top right corner, and selecting “Report.” TikTok will then review the account and take appropriate action.
2. Assess your losses
Try to assess how much money you’ve lost. If the amount is small, you may be able to write it off as a loss and move on. However, if you’ve lost a substantial amount of money, you should contact your local police department to file a report.
3. Reach out to your bank or credit card company
You should also reach out to your bank or credit card company to dispute the charges. If you gave the scammer personal information related to your accounts, ask your bank or credit card company to cancel your card or close your accounts immediately.
4. Secure your online accounts
Change your password and set up two-factor authentication for your online accounts. This includes not just your social media accounts but, more importantly, your email accounts, banking accounts, etc.
This should help minimize any damage that the scammer may cause.
5. Report the incident to the FTC
You can also report the scammer to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC is responsible for protecting consumers from fraud and deception, so they’ll investigate the scammer and take action if necessary.
6. Warn your friends and followers
Finally, you should also warn your friends and followers about the scammer so that they don't become victims as well.
By taking these steps, you can help protect yourself and others from being scammed on TikTok.
If you’ve been scammed on TikTok, your finances are just one thing you can lose. It’s important to make sure all your other data is safe too, otherwise your identity could be stolen.
With Aura, you can check right now whether your sensitive data is floating around on the dark web or being used maliciously. Aura will:
If you suspect your details are being used by criminals, don’t hesitate to get help now.
TikTok is a fun and popular social media platform that offers users the ability to share videos with their friends and followers. With its popularity, unfortunately, it has also become a goldmine for scammers and other criminals.
While the app is generally safe to use, there are still some scams and other types of misconduct that are prevalent on the platform. Knowing what kinds of scams criminals pull on TikTok will help you recognize its signs and stay safe while enjoying its use.
More importantly, by following the simple safety tips we’ve listed above, you can enjoy all that TikTok has to offer without putting yourself at risk. So go ahead and start sharing those videos – just be sure to do so safely.