The Growth of Snapchat
Snapchat, the social media app best known for its vanishing images and videos, was launched in 2011 but didn’t really become popular until about 2013. What made Snapchat blow up so quickly, even with so many other social media platforms to compete against, was that theoretically, nothing users sent or uploaded could come back to haunt them.
The app was especially popular among teens, who wanted to share content away from the prying eyes of their parents and teachers. Because of the disappearing nature of “Snaps,” or Snapchat posts, it also quickly gained notoriety as a sexting app.
Fast forward to 2021, and Snapchat now has approximately 293 million daily active users. And, unfortunately, on any platform with so many users, there are also scammers targeting them. Though Snapchat has plenty of legitimate users and content, it’s important to know what to look out for to avoid Snapchat scams.
4 Most Common Snapchat Scams
1. Snapchat premium scam
One of the most common Snapchat scams involves accounts that post images and videos of girls in bikinis or sexually suggestive poses, then ask users to pay them for “premium” content of the girls fully nude or performing sex acts.
The Snapchat scammers ask for cash payments via Cash App or other popular mobile payment services and rarely deliver the content they promised (though they might continue to send you “teasers” and request more money).
2. Snapchat meetup scams
Snapchat meetup scams are similar to Snapchat premium scams, except that, instead of promising to provide adult content, the scammers offer to meet up with you if you pay large amounts of money.
The scammers typically pose as “models” and trick unsuspecting users into transferring them money or even providing their credit card numbers in exchange for an in-person date, which never happens.
3. Snapchat sex scam
Snapchat sex scams are another type of scam on the platform that preys on users looking for adult content online. In this case, the scammers claim they want to talk to you via a different dating site, for which they provide the link.
Once you visit the site, you’ll be prompted to enter your credit card info or otherwise make a payment to sign up for the service and be able to chat and see videos. Of course, once you hand over the cash, the scammers disappear.
4. Snapchat catfish scam
In a Snapchat catfish scam, also known as Snapchat romance scams, accounts upload photos and videos of good-looking people and trick users into thinking they’re talking with the person in the images. The scammers try to make you feel like you have a real romantic connection with the person you think you’re talking to, then start asking you for money.
5. Snapchat account recovery scam
The fifth most common type of Snapchat scam involves scammers who pose as someone you know or as someone from Snapchat and try to trick you into giving them sensitive information.
For instance, they might pretend to be a friend of yours and claim that they are locked out of their account because they can’t remember their username. They then ask you to give them your login info so they can go look for their account.
Alternatively, scammers might send you an email that appears to be from Snapchat and ask you for your login info to unlock your account.
Once they have your info, they change your password and hold your account hostage until you pay them a certain amount of money.
Who Are the Victims of Snapchat Scams?
On average, Snapchat has a younger user base than many other social media platforms, so victims of Snapchat scams are often teens and young adults.
As you can see from the types of Snapchat scams we described above, scammers also often target vulnerable users looking for adult content or romantic connections on the platform.
Staying Safe on Snapchat
- Don’t open emails that claim your Snapchat account is locked, and don’t click on links in them if you do
- Don’t look for dates or online romances on Snapchat
- Never send money to anyone you meet via Snapchat
- Don’t pay for access to premium content or sign up for sites you are linked to via Snapchat
- Don’t click on any unknown links you get sent on Snapchat
- Check with friends to make sure they weren’t hacked if you start to receive any messages from their accounts asking you for sensitive info
- Block any accounts that seem off or ask you for personal info