As more people are getting connected to the internet, scammers are finding new ways to loot people and bag millions of dollars. You would have listened to tons of scams in the past, but they are nothing compared to what is happening right now. In the past, people used to realize that they were scammed, but now, even they don’t know months after the incident.
One of the biggest reasons for the instant rise in scamming activities is that almost everyone’s data is easily available over the internet. Scammers steal others’ identities and ask for financial and other kinds of help from their acquaintances. They commonly use pictures that people upload on social networking websites and utilize them for their gains. That’s why experts ask people not to upload their images on social media, as they can be stolen and exploited by fraudsters.
If you are curious about what these scammers can do with your pictures, this article is for you. Starting with a common type of scam, many do with photos!
Catfishing- Use Someone Else’ Identity
Catfishing is a scam where fraudsters use others’ pictorials and other data to trick their acquaintances. Mostly, they create fake social media profiles using the same profile and cover pictures, names, and bio details. After completing these profiles, they contact their friends and ask for money. Unfortunately, most people fall victim to this scam as they cannot quickly determine whether the person talking to them is real or a scammer.
Besides social media platforms, they also create profiles on dating networks, build emotional relations with others, win their trust, and get some benefits they want. Many such cases have been reported worldwide where scammers used dating applications to scam people.
There are a lot of chances where swindlers are using your pictures to build relations with other people. Then, after achieving what they want, they may deactivate their profiles, and the victim may blame you for the scams. That’s why you need to protect your images. Otherwise, the victim could file a lawsuit against you for the criminal activity in which you weren’t involved. Besides, some scammers can also use your friends’ pictures to scam you. That’s why you should beware of such activities and don’t trust anyone until you are sure that the real person is talking to you on the other end.
Defame You with Fake Pictures
Your enemies or rivals can also use your pictures to defame you. Many of them can take your images and edit them to ruin your reputation in the market or industry. For example, they can also photoshop your picture in a way that looks original. In many cases, people use this activity to degrade their competitors in everyone’s eyes. For example, you would have seen political rivals edit photographs of others and make them look like Hitler and many other dictators to defame them and decrease people’s affection for them.
Furthermore, these scammers or competitors can edit your pictures and blackmail you. Although the victims know these are fake images, they fall into the trap to save their reputation and relations. Because once a photo goes viral, it could be harder for them to make people realize that these are fake images. That’s why you must not upload pictures that can be used to defame you. Once something is uploaded to the internet, it won’t remain in your control.
Use Your Identity Enhance Followers or Spread Hatred
It is a common phenomenon in this digital world. Many wannabes create fake profiles using well-known people’s pictures and names and pretend to be the original person to get instant followers. Unfortunately, this practice can ultimately harm the reputation and followers of the real person. That’s why you should have noticed that many celebrities and influencers regularly tell the media that they don’t have any profiles on social media. Furthermore, they also ask their followers to report fake profiles.
Similarly, many people can use your names to spread propaganda and hatred against communities, people, and authorities. In the end, you will be remembered as the main culprit. As a result, people and even law-enforcement agencies may file lawsuits and take action against you. That’s why you should always have a keen eye on who is using your pictures and which profiles use your name to disseminate hatred.
The reverse image search method can help you tackle these kinds of issues. So, it can help if you regularly use it to discover the profiles using your pictures and name.
Ways to Avoid Catfishing Scam
To ensure that you don’t become the victim of this scam, you should avoid uploading your pictures on social media until you are a model or influencer. Moreover, you can use the technology in your favor. The best method to protect you from scams is “reverse photo lookup.”
Reverse photo search is the process of searching for some graphical data using pictures as input. In this process, the image search engines analyze multiple picture elements and show identical pictures to users. When you perform the reverse image search on a photo, it displays where the same image is uploaded. That’s how you can discover which social media profiles are using your photos and instantly report them so they cannot use your pictures to scam others.