How to spot fake news and scams

It used to be that “seeing is believing” but times have changed so much  in these time of fake news, that even what you see can’t always be believed, especially some of the news and information from your social media (Facebook, WhatsApp and the internet). This is how to spot fake news.

How to spot fake news on Facebook

• Be sceptical of headlines. False news stories often have catchy headlines in all caps with exclamation points. If shocking claims in the headline sound unbelievable, they probably are.
• Look closely at the link. A dodgy or look-alike link may be a warning sign of false news. Many false news sites mimic authentic news sources by making small changes to the link. You can go to the site to compare the link to established sources.
• Watch for unusual formatting. Many false news sites have misspellings or awkward layouts. Be careful if you see these signs.
• Consider the photos. False news stories often contain manipulated images or videos. Sometimes the photo may be authentic but taken out of context. You can search for the photo or image to verify the information.

How to tell if a website is above board

• If it’s hard to find a physical address on the website’s “Contact Us” or “About” pages, then it’s best to be careful.
• When you can’t find other credible publications running with the same story.
• When the headline seems exaggerated or doesn’t fit in with the rest of the story.

Examples of popular WhatsApp scams

• Employment opportunities sent on WhatsApp or SMS that require you to pay admin or any kind of fee, are often scams.
• Be careful of friends asking to borrow cash from you. Scammers are able to clone cellphone numbers and pretend to be a loved one borrowing cash that often has to be sent via cash send services and not their bank accounts. Before you borrow money to a friend, give them a call to make sure it is really them that you are chatting to.
• Inheritance scams aka 419. Anyone reaching out to you claiming you are about to inherit money from relatives or people you do not know, should be ignored.

Here’s more info to keep you in the know of different types of phone scams.

Source: Facebook
Image: Gallo Images/Getty Images.