Social media scammers stole at least $770 million in 2021
The last year has been a boon for social media scammers, according to a from the FTC. The agency says more than 95,000 people lost $770 million to scammers who found them via social media platforms in 2021. That’s more than double the $258 million they say scammers made off with in 2020.
The report doesn’t speculate on why there was such a big increase in 2021, but it notes that reports of scams have “soared” over the last five years. It also states that there was a “massive surge” in scams related to “bogus cryptocurrency investments” and that investment scams accounted for nearly $285 million — more than third — of the $770 million lost last year.
Romance scams have also “climbed to record highs in recent years,” according to the report. “These scams often start with a seemingly innocent friend request from a stranger, followed by sweet talk, and then, inevitably, a request for money,” the FTC says. Also prevalent are scams related to online shopping, most of which involve “undelivered goods” that were purchased as the result of an ad on social media.
Of note, Facebook and Instagram are the only two platforms named in the report. …read more