Your fitness app may make you a target for scammers – NBC Boston

If you’re trying to get in shape, a scammer might be trying to get your money.

The Better Business Bureau has issued a warning about criminals targeting people through fitness tracker apps.

This is the latest version of the imposter scam, when a criminal adopts a fake online identity to gain a victim’s trust and then uses the illusion of a close relationship to manipulate and steal from the victim. 

Fitness trackers can help you monitor your physical activity and connect you to friends and an extended community of fitness enthusiasts. But scammers exist within these communities.

Here are some warning signs:

You start receiving messages from a group member who asks about your fitness goals. Eventually, the conversation becomes more personal.

The scammer will use emotional storytelling you they have a child in need of medical care or an ill elderly parent.

There will be specific instructions to provide financial help.  The scammer will request you wire money or use a prepaid debit card to help.

As the scammer develops a relationship with a victim, they will ask for email or a personal cell phone number to connect outside the app.

To avoid becoming a victim:

Don’t post a picture of yourself on your profile.  Scammers may target certain groups of people.

Don’t share personal information with a stranger.  The more they know the more information they have to manipulate you.

Think before accepting requests from strangers.  Being a part of a community is rewarding but it can also be dangerous.

And remember– you should never give money to someone you don’t actually know and have not met in person.  People you communicate with online are not always who they say they are.   Talk to a family member or close friend if you are conflicted or unsure. Getting a different perspective is always helpful.

Anytime anyone is asking you to buy a gift card, wire money or send money via a cash app — you might to think twice before falling victim.

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