Updated: June 21, 2024

What are online scams?

Online scams are fraudulent or deceitful acts that take place over the internet. These scams typically include the exploitation of others for some form of monetary gain but may also involve a scammer trying to obtain an individual’s personal information. This includes ID numbers, account login details, addresses, dates of birth, email addresses, phone numbers, and passwords.

As indicated in our Community Guidelines, we do not allow attempts to defraud or scam members of our community. Users with repeated violations may have their accounts banned.

Be Aware of Online Scams

As technology advances, so do scam tactics. Being able to identify online scams is imperative to protect yourself from financial loss and potential harm. When in doubt about whether something is legitimate or not, always check with an original, official, and verified source (e.g., go to the official website through a search engine instead of clicking on an unknown and potentially suspicious link).

Some of the most common forms of scams include:

  • Unrealistic returns scams
    • Free money scams provide users with cash returns, counterfeit notes, digital currency, gaming currency, cryptocurrency, etc., usually in an attempt to scam the user via an “administrative fee” or steal their personal information. These scams can include the use of synthetic or manipulated media to create fake celebrity endorsements of digital currency or cryptocurrency giveaways.
    • Free goods and services scams promise users returns of free goods and/or services, including coupons, store credit, gift cards, phones, video streaming services, forged documents, stolen or fake financial information, etc., usually in an attempt to scam the user of an “administrative fee” or steal their personal information.
  • Mobile games scams offer in-game items at no cost or at cheaper rates. This is most often followed by instructions to visit a website or click on a link. This potentially exposes users to account loss, gaming currency loss, or financial loss.
  • Ponzi or pyramid schemes
    • A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investing scam promising high rates of return with little risk. It generates returns for earlier investors with money taken from later investors.
    • A pyramid scheme is an investment scam based on a hierarchical setup of network marketing that uses an unsustainable or fraudulent business model.
  • Phishing scams deceive users into volunteering personal information unwittingly. These scams are often carried out through fraudulent websites, emails, or texts appearing to represent a legitimate firm.
    • Individuals perpetuate loan scams and scams to enroll users in debt repayments schemes by claiming to be licensed moneylenders and convince victims to pay a “deposit” for loan disbursement. Upon the deposit transfer, these scammers become uncontactable. They may also ask for personal information to blackmail victims later for more payments.

How to get support for online scams

If you or someone you know needs more information on how to identify online scams, search through our resources below to find local organizations in your country that you can reach out to for more information about staying safe online.

Learn more

What do I do if I encounter suspicious activity on Tiktok's platform?
  • If you think someone may have accessed your account or see any suspicious content that could be a fraud or scam, please report it under “Frauds and Scams” so that we can take immediate action and continue to keep the platform safe for our community. Reporting potential scams helps prevent future attempts and protect others. Learn more about reporting here.
  • If you observe suspicious activity or listings while shopping on TikTok Shop, please report the activity in-app. Suspicious listings can be reported as "Scam or Fraud". Your actions will help to further fulfill our commitment to creating a safe and positive experience on TikTok.
How do I keep my account secure?
  • Be wary of scammers pretending to be TikTok employees
  • We will never ask for your password through direct messaging or email. If you receive an email from someone claiming to be from TikTok, check the email address and ensure it ends with before opening or replying to it.
  • Keep vigilant always
    • Avoid clicking on unknown links or opening unknown attachments, as they could be fraudulent or malicious. When making transactions, always verify the legitimacy of the site by looking carefully at the URL.
  • Protect your account and information
  • Set strong passwords with uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, symbols and words. Find it hard to remember your passwords? Use words that relate to a memory for you and form a phrase, e.g., IhadKAYAtoast@8AM!
  • Avoid sharing your personal information. Hackers may use your personal information to crack your passwords or security questions. For an added layer of security, enable 2-step verification.
    • Personal information includes:
      • Personal non-public phone numbers and home addresses.
      • Financial and payment information, such as bank accounts and credit card numbers
      • Login information, such as usernames and passwords or One-Time Password (OTP)
      • Identity documentation, cards, or numbers, such as passports, government-issued identifications, and social security numbers.
Where can I learn more about Privacy and Security on TikTok?


The content provided on this page is for informational purposes and educational use only.