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Americans lose $2.7B to social media scams

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

A recent report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reveals that Americans have been swindled out of approximately $2.7 billion due to scams initiated on social media platforms since 2021.

This figure surpasses losses from any other mode of communication, including emails, phone calls, texts, and regular mail. Emma Fletcher, a senior data researcher for the FTC, highlighted in a Data Spotlight that fraudsters frequently exploit social media’s vast reach and personalized data. With the ability to craft fake profiles or even impersonate actual users, scammers are effectively duping victims by using personalized advertising tools, studying shared information, and mimicking genuine interactions.

For the first half of 2023, online shopping scams, particularly those involving misrepresented ads on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, constituted 44% of all reported social media fraud losses. However, deceptive investment opportunities, especially those involving cryptocurrency, led to the most significant monetary losses, accounting for 53% of reported funds lost to scams on social media.

In light of the increasing number of romance scams, the FTC emphasizes the importance of refraining from sending money to individuals not met in person. They also advise enhancing privacy settings, authenticating messages about financial opportunities, and researching companies before transactions.

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