I have alerted people to so many online scams that I have a very big question.

My question is, if I suspect something is a scam, why isn't it caught by the people who run social media? Seriously, a lot of us have picked up Facebook bans for having a joke or a picture misinterpreted, while these scammers run roughshod over these networks.

I would say the most despicable one making the rounds right now involves either an injured animal or a missing elderly person. Even I was feeling sorry for the animals until I started noticing these things repeating over and over, sometimes with different pictures. The other thing that I found that was a dead giveaway was the terminology used in the posts that ask you to "bump this up" in your feed to spread its reach. I just don't know anyone other than scammers who use "bump" as a term for sharing.

The new scam, while not as despicable as a picture of an injured dog, is a little more insidious. Most people have become media-savvy enough that they know they can't use copywritten images, videos, or sounds in their posts. It's those of you who are mindful of this who are targeted with a fake "copywrite infringement" notice, claiming you've used an unauthorized image. The scammers are counting on you to act quickly to remedy the "problem" by filing a quick appeal, and accidentally giving them the information they can use to steal your identity.

Your best protection against scams is to ignore any request for action on your part, unless you are 100% certain of its source (for instance, share a friend's lost dog, but don't share it if it's a friend of a friend or someone you don't know). Always skip over things that seem too good to be true (like free steaks are your favorite restaurant). Lastly, you've already given the social media overloads enough information, so ignore requests for more.

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