How Instagram photos of pets are putting young people at risk of fraud

Social media users who share details about their pets online are being warned after it was revealed it could lead to having your bank account drained or identity theft.

Many young people are jumping onboard the social media trend of attempting to make their pets ‘Instafamous’ by creating profiles for their fur babies and sharing details such as their pet’s name.

Celebrities like Taylor Swift, who often post online about their pampered pets, are influencing fans to also share pictures of their animals online without realising the consequences.

The Telegraph reports UK bank Santander released research that showed one in 10 people under the age of 25 have posted personal information on social media such as their birthday, pet’s name and location – details commonly used as security questions or passwords.

The survey also found that 40 per cent are influenced by what celebrities post online, while 78 per cent admitted to not knowing how to protect themselves from identity theft.

Fraud prevention charity CIFAS recently reported the number of 21-year-olds falling victim to online conmen had risen by 26 per cent in 2018.

One in 10 social media users under the age of 25 have posted personal information online. Source: Getty

Social media expert Jodie Cook The Telegraph young people mirroring their favourite celebrities who overshare on social media could be putting young people at risk of fraud.

“It’s worrying to see influential celebrities share so many personal details online,” she said.

“Sharing names of family members and revealing your date of birth is risky and is turning people’s social media profiles into a fraudster’s paradise.”

Young people are being urged not to follow celebrities like Taylor Swift (left) and Paris Hilton (right), who have made their pets almost as famous as they are. Source: Getty

To avoid online fraud Ms Cook suggests keeping tight-lipped about details such as your birthday, pets’ names and family details such as your mother’s maiden name or where you were born.

She also recommends double-checking images you post for sensitive documents visible in the background.

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