The numbers simply make you dizzy. In 2021, online scams through social networks brought their authors the tidy sum of 770 million dollars. The information was disclosed by the Federal Trade Commission which is an independent American agency specializing in consumer law.
To come to this conclusion, the agency took into account the various complaints it received throughout the year. This amount may well be just the tip of the online scam iceberg.
Online shopping, the most popular type of scam on social networks
In its report, the FTC indicated that social networks constitute veritable goldmines for scammers. Worse, social networks have been in 2021 quite simply the most effective way to steal money fraudulently.
The reported loss of money due to scams through social networks therefore amounts to 770 million dollars for the year 2021 alone. In comparison to the year, 2017, the FTC has noted an increase more than 1800%. A staggering percentage that clearly shows that this type of scam is clearly on the rise.
In its report, the FTC also indicated that online shopping scams are used the most on social networks. Of the 95,000 social media fraud reports, 45% relate to online shopping.
The mode of operation is generally the same. The scammer takes money from his victim, promising to deliver a product that never comes. The most used channels for the social media scam are Instagram and Facebook.
Investment and love scams, the most profitable techniques
While online shopping scams are the most popular, they have not been the most profitable over the past year. The gold medal goes to investment scams followed closely by romance scams.
It must be said that among investment scams, those related to cryptocurrencies are on the rise. With the success stories of currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, many people are more easily convinced to invest in this type.
This is very suitable for scammers who always take advantage of a need of their victim to better extract money from him. They do not hesitate to promise big returns to victims who let themselves be taken in by the lure of easy gain.
When it comes to romance scams, scammers operate on the premise that love is blinding in order to take as much money as possible from their victims. According to the FTC, more than a third of people who have been victims of romance scams have fallen for scammers on Facebook and Instagram.
Usually, it all starts with a seemingly innocent friend request from a stranger. Subsequently, the scammer overwhelms his victim with sweet words and attentions in order to make him lose his head and all control over his wallet.
Once again, we must remember that social networks are great means of socialization. However, not everything in it is necessarily true. We must be particularly wary of what is too beautiful. You must inform yourself and always avoid transferring money to a stranger.
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According to the FTC, social networks were profitable for scammers in 2021