It’s probably not a video of you: Kingston Police warn of phishing scams

Kingston Police are warning residents to beware of a common scam in which a person is asked “Is this a video of you,” as it could be a phishing attack.

“It’s no secret that cybercriminals love social media,” says Kingston Police Media Relations Officer Ash Gutheinz. “Scammers use platforms like Facebook and Instagram to impersonate your real friends and followers. Using this disguise, the scammers try to trick you into sharing sensitive information.”

The increasingly common scam begins when a person receives a message from a friend or follower asking “Is this a video of you?” The message includes a screenshot of a blacked-out or blurry video.

“If you click to watch the video, you will be taken to a social media look-a-like login page that is designed to steal your account credentials,” says Gutheinz. “If you enter your credentials here, the information will be sent directly to the scammers and they’ll be able to use your social media account to scam anyone on your friends list.”

Kingston Police advises the following actions to keep yourself and friends safe:

  • The simple message used in this scam sparks feelings of curiosity, concern, and urgency. Don’t let the scammers toy with your emotions.
  • Be cautious of messages that are off-topic, unusual, or outlandish, especially if the message includes a link. 
  • Keep your social media accounts private and only accept friend or follow requests from people that you know and trust.

“Stop, look, and think. Don’t be fooled by the scammers,” say Kingston Police.

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