Scam social media quizzes dupes people into revealing personal details

Guernsey Police have issued a warning after a 'large number' of reported scams linked to fake online quizzes. Credit: Bailiwick Law Enforcement / ITV Channel

Police in Guernsey have issued several scam warnings after islanders may have been duped into revealing personal information by responding to quizzes shared on social media.

Two people in the bailiwick have reported losing money to the scam in recent days.

The posts, which are predominantly shared on Facebook groups and via WhatsApp, ask people to answer questions in the comments section.

Scammers then contact them by direct message saying the recipient has won a prize, but to claim it - they will have to pay money first.

Guernsey Police say "if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is".

Advice for avoiding scams:

  • Don’t send your bank details to other people through social media.

  • Be sceptical of online competitions, check how long the page has been active, and don’t trust it just because a friend has.

  • Don’t accept messages or friend requests from people you don’t know.

  • Be aware of imposters posing as people you do know.

Officers are also urging people to take care after social media posts have tried to dupe people into revealing the "secret information" needed to access bank and online accounts.

Guernsey Police said: "What can seemingly be an innocent post asking what your first car was, could be highlighting your profile and security answers to a potential scammer."

We're being urged not to give out answers to security questions, be aware of who can see your comments, adjust privacy settings and remove any previously posted personal data from your online presence.

Jersey's Office of the Information Commissioner says they have seen a similar rise in islanders concerned about scams.

Anne King is the organisation's Operations Director. She said: "Recently the number of people speaking to our team about the 'Mum, my phone is broken' text, has been highlighted, particularly when we have been out visiting schools and at our community event at Charing Cross before the long bank holiday weekend.

"Islanders approached us to ask for guidance and we advise everyone to think before parting with their personal information online or via text or online messaging.

"Quizzes may seem like fun and tempt us by asking simple yet personal questions such as the make of your first car or the name of your childhood crush, but scammers use this method for communication to get us to share even more personal information. Stop, think and proceed knowing what you may or may not be giving away!"

The JOIC is also advising islanders to ensure their personal settings on platforms they use are up to date, and checked regularly, as app updates can mean sometimes revert settings to their default settings.

You can find out more about keeping your social media privacy settings up-to-date here.

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