Prof. Sheperd Sikhosana

Social media is a term that means social networks facilitated by technology such as Face book, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Though these technologies help one to be in touch with the public, recent research reveals that scammers take advantage of this technological advancement, making many to get into the social media scams that cost valuable money and personal information. The root cause for this online fraud is quite simple; there is no proper awareness among people on how to protect their identity online, growing trust on social platform providers and the need for social media to generate revenue. The combination of all these factors have generated the propensity for many people to fall victim to social media scams.

Together with many benefits that social media has brought, it also has brought a plethora of online crime where scammers have “stolen’’ innocent victims hard earned incomes. Social media is proving to be a powerful platform for advertising almost anything and most businesses have exponentially grown their client base using its power. On the other end, criminals are also advertising services and products which they can’t deliver nor offer.

Users of social media are bombarded by these adverts and it becomes difficult to tell genuine from fake people. A sad reality is that even those in the spiritual healing field have taken advantage of desperate people in different situations. Its only after one has lost his money that he discovers he has been scammed.

It has become very imperative for all and sundry on the social media domain to exercise great caution, especially on these get rich quick schemes. Many benefits offered in these adverts are not true. The scammers are simply looking for those gullible so that they can take advantage of. There is need for the government to enforce legislation and regulations that deal with such social media scammers.