Old scam targets new app popular with young adults

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - “You’re today’s lucky winner!”

It’s a statement that will get your attention.  It can also cause you to be duped by a scam artist.

Scammers are targeting Snapchat, a relatively new mobile app popular among teenagers and young adults. You take a picture or video and send it to a friend; within seconds, the image disappears. 

Scammers are now tapping into the app and sending an image to get your attention.  The image may look like an ad and claim you have won a prize.

“Some of the images that they are sending out say you've won a prize and you can't win a prize when you did not enter,” Aaron Reese with the Kansas City Better Business Bureau said.

The Better Business Bureau calls this the ‘Snapchat sweepstakes’ scam.  The image directs you to a website where you are asked to enter your information.  But experts say do not fall for it; it could be an attempt to infect your phone with a virus.

“If you ever see anything like that, ignore it,” Reese said.

Here are some ways to protect yourself from the scam:

  • Be cautious of texts, emails or messages sent from an unknown source.
  • Change the settings on your phone so you only get ‘snaps’ from people you know.
  • Use an official app store, not an alternative one.
  • Be wary if you have been selected as a winner of a contest you have not entered.
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