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FTC: Social Media Fraud Scams On The Rise

The scams are creeping into your newsfeed, your ads, your offers … and so, think twice before the retweet, perhaps.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said in a recent Consumer Protection Data Spotlight that social media and app-driven scams have more than tripled in the past year — as measured by the first six months of 2020 — with a sharp increase seen in the second quarter.

Total reported losses for all of 2019 for those types of fraud totaled $134 million, said the FTC, but through the first six months of this year reported losses reached $117 million.

“In that time, the reported scams that started on social media often related to online shopping, romance scams, and supposed economic relief or income opportunities,” said the FTC.

Drilling down a bit, the commission said eCommerce sites that did not deliver items that had been purchased were among the scams most often reported. In addition, consumers mentioned Facebook or Instagram in 94 percent of the reports that identified specific platforms. Also on the rise: scams that offer grant money to help those in need during the pandemic.


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