Social media is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, social media platforms have also become quite the popular scammer hangouts, too.
In the first six months of 2020, consumers have lost $117 million compared to $134 million back in 2019.
According to the FTC’s official report, Facebook and Instagram are the social media platforms primarily abused in 2020. There scammers are trying to cheat users out of millions of their hard-earned dollars. Nearly 100% of consumers said they’ve been scammed via a Facebook or Instagram advert. Overall, scammers are putting ads on Facebook and Instagram without the intent to ever deliver a product or service.
The FTC states that the scammers are abusing the ads features on these platforms to make their ads look trustworthy. The government watchdog further states that “these scam ads look real and can be carefully targeted to reach a particular audience. The scammers can delete comments on their ads; or, posts so that negative responses don’t show up and alert people to the con.”
The FTC quotes eight types of scams discovered on Facebook Ads: online shopping, romance scams, economic relief, income opportunity, grant money, giveaways, multi-level marketing (MLM) and pyramid schemes.
You can read the official Federal Trade Commission’s report here.