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BBB warns of online quiz scams

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is urging people to think twice before taking certain Facebook quizzes.

“With most of Canada under orders to stay at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are turning to social media for a fun distraction,” a BBB press release stated. “Taking a Facebook quiz may seem like a harmless way to pass the time while quarantined, but it could also give scammers your personal information.”

According to BBB, quizzes that might double as scams include tests on how well you know a friend or short questionnaires that claim to match your personality traits with a character from your favourite TV show.

“These quizzes ask seemingly silly or meaningless questions, but scammers can use that information for nefarious purposes,” BBB's release stated. “For example, some quizzes collect personal information by asking questions like, 'What is your mother's maiden name?' or 'What is the name of the street you grew up on?' These are common security questions for banking and credit card accounts. Sharing this information can lead to your accounts being hacked, and your personal and financial information being stolen.”

While not all social media quizzes are data collection scams, BBB cautions users to be careful about what they share online.

To avoid social media scams, BBB suggests adjusting privacy settings on your account, being strict about what information you share, removing personal details like your phone number and home address from your profile, not giving answers to common security questions on quizzes, monitoring friend requests and finding out which organization or entity created a quiz before you take it.

“Just because something appears to be fun and innocent, doesn't mean there isn't an inherent risk,“ BBB said.