One in four people who reported losing money to fraud in the last two years said the scam began on social media, accounting for $2.7 billion in reported losses, more than any other contact method, the Federal Trade Commission said in a new report.
Fraud reports show that while social media fraud is a problem for all ages, younger people are particularly susceptible, according to the agency. Social media was the contact method used more than 38% of the time for people ages 20-29 who lost money to fraud. That figure was 47% for people 18-19. “The numbers decrease with age, consistent with generational differences in social media use,” the FTC said.
The most frequently reported fraud loss in the first half of 2023 was from people who tried to buy something marketed on social media, totaling 44% of all social media fraud loss reports, the FTC said. Most fraud reports were about undelivered goods, and the scams most often started with an ad on Facebook or Instagram. Other major contact points for fraud were websites or apps ($2 billion in reported losses), phone calls ($1.9 billion), email ($900 million) and text messages ($600 million).