May 26, 2022
FTC Reports Social Media Scams Hit New All-Time High of $770 in 2021

Social Media Scams Cost Americans more than Ever in 2021, FTC Reveals

Social media scams hit an all-time record in 2021, defrauding American consumers of $770 million, according to the Federal Trade Commission…

Social media continues to provide prime opportunities for criminals. Last year, social media scams hit an all-time high last year, new figures from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have revealed. In fact, last year was 18x the amount stolen just five years ago, and this time, the most successful schemes we’re perpetrated against elderly individuals.

FTC Reports Social Media Scams Hit New All-Time High of $770 Million in 2021

The FTC claims a full quarter of all fraud losses for the year happened on social media. In 2021, victims lost around $770 million¬† — at an average of around $460 per scam. This represents nearly twenty times the amount lost back in 2016, which came to $42 million. Previously, it was older generations who were the most victimized. But, that changed in 2021, with consumers aged 18-39 reporting 2.4 times more fraud than those aged 40+.

The two most successful scam strategies involved romance and investment schemes. Victims of romance scams were first approached on social media. Once an attacker’s friend or follow invitation was accepted, money requests would follow soon after. Investment fraud is a bit more elaborate. But, in the age of cryptocurrencies and quick financial transactions, criminals found it easier to defraud their victims.

Of all the investment scams perpetrated in 2021, more than half — 54% — began on social media. Last year, cryptocurrencies were the preferred method of payment in almost two-thirds (64%) of all social media investment scams.¬†

Ashley Lipman

Ashley Lipman is a super-connector with Outreachmama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking.

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