Thanks to Snapchat’s popularity there are quite a few scams to which you can easily fall prey. However, if you keep your wits about you and use the information below to know what to look out for, you’ll be able to keep your account, and your snaps, safe.

Snapchat chain hoaxes

The most recent is a message being circulated that your Memories (i.e. saved photos) would be deleted unless you copy the message and share it with your friends. Snapchat confirmed on its Twitter account that the post was #fakenews.

Another chain hoax threatened to upload any nude photos. It was, like the Memories screenshot, made to look as if it was sent by the official Team Snapchat account. The poor grammar should have been a giveaway: this is often a clear sign that it’s not genuine.

Phishing emails

A common scam, not limited even to social media, is a fake email that tells you to log into your Snapchat account for one reason or another.

This will typically send you to a fake website in your phone’s web browser that looks just like Snapchat’s sign-in screen. Almost 60,000 Snapchat accounts were compromised in July 2017 by a phishing email scam such as this. If yours was one of them you would have been notified by Snapchat and been forced to choose a new password.

Another well-known phishing scam is that you can click a link to see ‘leaked snaps’. The site asks you to log in to your account, at which point you’ve just handed over your details to the scammers. Don’t do it!

How to avoid Snapchat scams

First, always download the app from an official app store and never from an unknown source.

Second, don’t click on links in emails that direct you to a login screen. Always open the app manually and sign in.

Ignore emails and messages that tell you there’s a problem with your account, you’ve won a competition “You’re today’s winner!” or that your account has been locked. Snapchat does lock accounts if they’re using third-party apps such as Snap Upload, Casper, Snap Crack and Phantom, or if your account is displaying “abusive behaviour”. You won’t get an email, though. Instead you’ll see a message when you try to log in. If you’re using third-party apps, uninstall those apps and the issues – according to Snapchat – will resolve themselves.

When you open a link in Snapchat, you should see a warning of any dangerous website that is suspected of phishing scams or containing malware. Watch out for these and don’t ignore them.

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