Skip to main content
Internet Security

Social Media Behavior Leads to Identity Theft

Written by Marcia Simmons for NortonLifeLock

Social media is becoming an integral part of identity theft. Whether using Instagram to perpetrate a scam or Facebook to catch a thief, there's no doubt that social networking does more than just keep us connected to our friends.

City Puts Private Employee Data on Facebook Page

A payroll document that included employee Social Security numbers was accidentally posted to the Facebook page of an Alabama city, WAAY-TV reports.

Though the personal information was on Facebook for just a few hours, one employee was already contacted about fraudulent credit card offers and debt collections.

The town of Rogersville is now paying for a year of identity theft protection for more than 20 of its employees.

Accused Scammer Recruits Accomplice on Social Media

A Florida man allegedly used Facebook and Instagram to recruit help for a credit card skimming operation that affected 20 people, the Sun Sentinel reports.

Adrian Liggins was charged with fraud, but police have not yet decided if they'll charge his 18-year-old accomplice.

Liggins met the high-school student on Facebook and Instagram and asked her if she would use her job at McDonald's to help him skim credit card numbers. In return for $260, she used a machine provided by him to grab card information from 20 customers.

The woman cooperated with police when caught and authorities were able to find Liggins because a photo on Instagram of his high school diploma showed his full name. Police monitored a meeting between her and Liggins to exchange card machines and later arrested him.

Authorities found skimmers, stolen identities and computers used for the fraud at his home.

Man Arrested for ID Theft for Impersonating TV Weather Man Online

Matthew Wendt was arrested for impersonating a TV meteorologist on social media to meet women, KWQC reports.

TV personality Greg Dutra discovered the fraud when he tagged his girlfriend in a Twitter post and another woman contacted him, upset because she'd been romantically involved with him on Facebook. Only it was actually Wendt who had been contacting her on Facebook pretending to be Dutra.

Police tracked Wendt through his IP address and are investigating what personal information of Dutra's he has and whether he obtained personal information from the women he contacted.

Wisconsin ID Thief Identified Through Police Facebook Page

Racine police nabbed a suspected identity thief using Facebook, according to the Journal Times.

Authorities say Shane R. Trentadue was filmed by an ATM camera using a stolen debit card. Police received tips from the public about his identity after putting snapshots from that footage on Facebook.

Trentadue was charged with fraudulent use of a credit card and felony identity theft.

Authorities Warn Fake Instagram Account Could Lead to ID Theft

A fake Instagram account created in the name of lottery winner Solomon Jackson Jr. could open many people up to identity theft, WACH reports.

The bogus posts claim Solomon will give a $1,000 scholarship to the first 100,000 followers of the account.

Authorities say scammers know what kinds of social media stunts are trending and use schemes like this to collect personal information from unsuspecting people looking to win a few bucks.

Fellow Instagram users caught on to the scam, as have authorities, and are warning others not to give any personal information to this or similar users.

Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. Norton LifeLock offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about cyber safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses.

Start your protection,
enroll in minutes.