Scammers 101: What to Look Out For

Learn to spot scams, safeguard personal info and outsmart pesky fraudsters - stay one step ahead of online scam artists with our latest Park blog.


19 September, 2023

How to Spot the Red Flags: Identifying Scammers on Social Media

Love it or loathe it, most of us are on social media. Whether we use it on a daily basis or check in from time-to-time, we know that not everyone out there has good intentions. Unfortunately, scams are becoming more prevalent. Fraudsters are utilising clever tricks to coerce people into sending them money, important personal information, and even access to their social media accounts. According to data, 62% of Facebook uses encounter scams every week.

When a scam is successful, the results can be dire. Innocent people can wind up losing thousands of pounds, see their personal details sold on and have their identities stripped away. Your friends at Park aren’t saying this to scare you, but we’re here to give you, our customers, tips on how to outsmart online scammers.

Recently our own Facebook page has received comments posted by scam accounts. They’ve been commenting on our competition posts, trying to trick you.  That’s why it’s important we tell you this – Park NEVER asks prize draw winners for any credit card information. Luckily, the team at Park HQ has been quick to get rid of these annoying messages before any damage has been caused. We also want to thank you, our super savvy savers, for helping by alerting us whenever you see a post that doesn’t look right. Park’s website hasn’t ever been hacked and, even if it was, your money is kept in a special trust account which is separate, secure and protected from hacks and scams. you can read all about how Park Christmas Savers’ money is protected here.

Knowing how to spot and deal with scammers on social media is an essential part of keeping ourselves protected. From understanding the latest scam tactics to being aware of the importance of keeping our data safe online, this blog aims to help you steer clear of cyber scammers.

Verification Matters: Making Sure You’re Dealing with Park

Some scammers have recently been impersonating Park’s Facebook page, but if you know what to look for it’s easy to spot the fakes. Recognising the tell-tale signs of a scammer’s profile makes sure we’re protecting ourselves online. Watch out for these red flags:

  • Incomplete Scammers usually create profiles with minimal details to avoid giving specific details about their background. If the profile is quite blank or brief, be aware of the presence of limited information. This is also the case if a profile contains inconsistent information – such as mismatched names, strange employment history and conflicting background information.

  • No genuine interactions. Most scammer accounts are based solely on fraud-related activities, meaning it’s unlikely they’ll feature any posts that look or feel authentic. There will be no posts, interactions, or comments – the backbone of any active profile. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

  • Too good to be true. If any deals, offers, or prizes seem too good to be true – they usually are. In these cases, the fraudster behind the scam will ask us to provide personal details such as financial information. It goes without saying, but we should never tell anyone online this kind of thing.

  • Requests for money/personal information. If someone we don’t know asks us for money, or any other kind of personal information, this is an instant red flag. Park never asks for credit card details, so keep this in mind if you encounter any scammers impersonating us; they mainly target competition posts.

  • Generic photos. Fraudsters don’t use real photos of themselves. They instead choose pictures of attractive individuals as this lends them an air of credibility. Often these are taken from other, real Facebook profiles or stock photo websites. If in doubt, we can reverse image search photos to see if they’re stock imagery in three easy steps:

      • Right click the profile pic and save it to your computer.
      • Visit the google search page and find the microphone icon. Next to it on the right is a square icon that looks a little like a camera. Click the square icon.
      • A box will open up, drag the fake profile pic into it and you’ll find the original image
  • Out of the blue friend requests. We should always be cautious of friend requests sent from people we don’t know – or people we do know but we are already connected to on social. Even if they have a couple of mutual friends, it goes without saying – never accept a random person’s friend request. Scammers often sent out dozens of friend requests in hopes of fooling social media users. Sometimes they even hack or clone our real friends’ accounts too, so always double-check your friends list or drop them a text to ask if the request is legit.

  • Nonsensical comments. Many scammers operate from non-English speaking countries. As a result, key signs of a scam include incorrect grammar, misspellings and broken phrases. This can also happen when scammer bots utilise unedited AI copy, such writing can come across as robotic. Some of us do find writing difficult or misspell things in a rush however so, again, trust your instinct. If the message matches the spelling or style of someone you know, take that into account.

Remain Vigilant: Taking Action Against Fraudsters

Even though encountering scammers is an unfortunate reality of being a social media user, we’re not powerless in the face of fraudulent activity. Reporting scam behaviour not only shields ourselves, but helps build a safer online space for every user.

Our online security is vital. In the case of suspicious activity, opt for caution, refrain from interaction. When things appear uncertain, trust your instincts and take protective measures. If you have any doubt, ask a friend or family member for help.

If you believe you've been a victim of a scam or cybercrime, you should also consider reporting it to Action Fraud, the UK's national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime:

In-App Safety Features: Scammers Be Gone

User safety is the most important thing. There are various ways to deal with scammers, and here’s how we can report fraudulent content on social media to make it safer for everyone. Every app has built-in safety features to help use enjoy a secure online experience. We can tailor our social media privacy settings to control who can look at our posts, send friend requests, or searching for our profiles.

Blocking an account is our first line of defence. If anyone is making us feel uncomfortable, the block feature tackles this by ridding unwanted people from our digital space. They’ll no longer be able to interact with our account, meaning they can’t view posts, or send messages.

If we don’t want to go as far as blocking someone, we can mute their account to maintain peace. Muting a user entails us not seeing anything they post, allowing our feed to remain focused on what matters.

If we do encounter any scammers on any of the Park social media pages, we can do the following to report harmful content:


  • Click on the three dots in the upper right corner of the scammer's profile or, post.
  • Select "Find support or report profile."
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to report the account for impersonation, harassment, or whatever else – we can add screenshots if need be.


  • Go to the scammer's profile.
  • Tap on the three dots in the top right corner.
  • Select "Report", and follow the prompts to report the account for impersonation, harassment, or whatever we feel they have done to try and trick us.