Snapchat, with its ephemeral messages and massive user base, especially among the younger generation, is an attractive target for cybercriminals. Being familiar with the latest hacking scams is not just useful, it’s a necessity for any avid user. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll shed light on the most recent Snapchat hacking scams, helping you remain vigilant and secure.
1. Credential Phishing
This age-old trick has been revamped for Snapchat. Users receive messages, either on Snapchat or through other platforms, claiming to be from Snapchat Support. These messages often contain alarming texts about account suspension, prompting users to log in via a provided link.
Countermeasure: Always access Snapchat directly from your app or the official website. Be wary of unsolicited messages claiming to be from Snapchat Support.
2. Third-party Apps & Websites
There are various third-party applications and websites offering features like saving snaps, increasing snap scores, or spying on friends. However, many of these are fronts for harvesting your Snapchat credentials.
Countermeasure: Stick to using Snapchat’s official app and avoid inputting your login details into third-party platforms.
3. Snap for Cash Scams
Some users might receive snaps or chats offering money in exchange for replying with personal information or a small fee. These are bait tactics, and the end goal is often identity theft or financial fraud.
Countermeasure: Never share personal or financial details based on unsolicited offers. Report such users to Snapchat.
4. Celebrity Impersonation
Hackers sometimes create fake accounts impersonating celebrities, influencers, or popular public figures. They might then engage with fans, leading them to phishing sites or soliciting money.
Countermeasure: Always check for the verified badge on Snapchat profiles. If an account’s behavior seems suspicious, report it.
5. Premium Snapchat Scams
There’s a trend of ‘premium’ Snapchat accounts where users offer exclusive content for a fee. While some are legitimate, many are fronts for scams, where after payment, no content is provided or the user is blocked.
Countermeasure: Be cautious when engaging with such offers. Avoid sending money to unverified or suspicious accounts.
6. Code-based Hacks
Snapchat has features like QR codes (Snapcodes) for easy account access and adding friends. Hackers can craft malicious codes, leading to phishing sites or malware downloads when scanned.
Countermeasure: Only scan Snapcodes from trusted sources. Be cautious of codes received from unfamiliar accounts or found online.
7. Streak Hijacking
Snapstreaks (consecutive days of exchanging snaps with a friend) are popular on Snapchat. Some users get attached to their streaks, making them targets. Hackers might threaten to break streaks unless a ransom is paid.
Countermeasure: Regularly back up your Snapchat data and be wary of unsolicited messages or threats.
8. Account Takeover & Ransom
After gaining access, hackers might change account details, locking out the original user. They may then demand a ransom for account release.
Countermeasure: Use a strong, unique password for Snapchat. Enable two-factor authentication and regularly check your account’s email and phone number settings.
9. Deepfakes on Snapchat
With deepfake technology becoming more accessible, there are rising cases where users’ images are manipulated into fake videos, potentially causing reputational harm.
Countermeasure: Be cautious about sharing clear facial shots, especially in public stories. Regularly check what’s being shared about you or ask friends to notify you of suspicious content.
10. Spy Apps
Certain apps claim to allow users to spy on someone else’s Snapchat account, reading their messages or viewing their snaps. While many are scams, some might have a level of functionality, breaching user privacy.
Countermeasure: Ensure your phone is free from malware or suspicious apps. Periodically review app permissions.
Snapchat, like any platform, isn’t immune to the prying eyes and crafty tactics of cybercriminals. However, with the right awareness and proactive behavior, you can enjoy all the platform offers without becoming a victim. Keep your app updated, stay informed about the latest scams, and always prioritize your digital safety. Remember, in the world of snaps, it’s not just about capturing the moment but ensuring that the moment remains securely yours.