I know the scams are bad.
Though I never imagined what we are learning from the FTC report that shows how big tech social media platforms, mainly Facebook and Instagram, have now become the biggest breeding ground for scammers to target you.
Scams that are starting on social media sites now account for 25% of all reported losses to fraud in 2021. That’s a whopping 18 fold increase from 5 years ago.
The young are now the fastest-growing suckers
People ages 18 to 39 were more than twice as likely as older adults to report losing money to these scams. And of all online social media scams, the lion’s share of 90% occurs on Facebook and Instagram.
Watch out for top frauds originating on social media
- 37% Investment scams, with an increase in those involving cryptocurrency
- 24% Romance scams often involve money transfers as I reported here
- 14% Online Shopping scams most of which lead to ‘lookalike’ fake sites
- 27% Other Fraud scams that I’ll mention below
Do these 5 steps now to protect yourself from trending social media scams
- Opt-out of targeted ads on all social media platforms
- Adjust privacy settings to limit who can see your posts and follow this guide to protect yourself now on Facebook
- Avoid wiring money, paying by cryptocurrency or gift cards from posts in social media
- Before you buy anything at a new online spot, search the company name and the word “scam”
- Always use good antivirus security software and apps on all your devices – this is one of the most important things you can do. More than ever, it’s never been more important to use strong security and antivirus protection across your devices. See my review of the best antivirus security protection for 2022 here including the top pick TotalAV.
Now, you may not be the victim since I just made you really safe and smart against these social media scumbags, but you could very well hear from a friend who is not as informed sharing that they got scammed or hacked. Here’s what you can tell them to help out.
What to do if you are scammed on social media
- Report the scammer to the FTC and the website or app where you first had contact
- If you sent money, contact your bank or credit card company to report fraud
- If you sent a gift card, keep the receipt and contact the gift card company for a potential refund
Big picture takeaway. Why are you and I spending time going out of our way to tighten up protections on the leading social media platforms Facebook and Instagram while parent company Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is putting more focus on surfing on his cool hydrofoil in Hawaii than our safety and protection?
Seems a way bit f—d up. Right?
If you find our work helpful in this article, please share it with your friends and family members. If you have a story to share about your own encounter with scams, let’s get the warning out by commenting below.