FTC: Social Media Scams Accelerate in First Half of 2020

Scams that start on social media have been increasing for years and climbed from $134 million total reported losses in 2019 to $117 million in just the first six months of 2020, the Federal Trade Commission said today.

Facebook and Instagram are mentioned in 94% of reports that mention a specific social media platform, the FTC said. Scams are most often related to online shopping, with 28% of social media scams in the first half of 2020 about goods that were ordered but never received. Romance scams were the second-most-reported type of social media scam, followed by business impostor, family and friend impostor and government impostor scams. ABA and the FTC this week released an infographic educating consumers about the risk of impostor scams.

Since 2019, close to half of all romance scam reports to the FTC involve social media—usually Facebook or Instagram, but since the pandemic began more people than ever have reported losing money to romance scams.