Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives, but it has also become a breeding ground for scammers.
These scammers use social media platforms to trick people into giving them money, personal information, or access to their accounts.
The results can be devastating, with people losing thousands of dollars, their identities, and personal information.
In this guide, we’ll look at some of the latest social media scamming statistics and what you can do to protect yourself.
- Phishing scams have been estimated to be the cause of almost 90% of all data breaches.
- 30% of the respondents of a survey by GoodFirms acknowledged having fallen prey to job scams on social media.
- Social media counts for around 12% of all cases where a victim clicks on phishing URLs.
- Teenagers and young adults are about 85% more likely to be a victim of shopping scams than older people.
- In the year 2022, inheritance scam victims lost more than $200,000.
- About 16% of social media scams are attributed to imposter scams (also known as account cloning).
- One-third of all scams reported by people over 50 years of age are lottery scams.
- More than 50% of investment scams occur through social media platforms with a direct message option (like Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, etc.)
- In 2022, the Civil Society, UK, reported 44% more money lost to charity scams than the previous year.
- About 25% of all social media scams are classified as romance scams.
- In 2022, organizations worldwide reported a total loss of $1.5 billion due to influencer scams.
Social Media Scamming Statistics in 2024: Types of Scams that “directly” Ask for Money or Sensitive Information
1. 30% of The Respondents of A Survey by Good Firms Acknowledged Having Fallen Prey to Job Scams on Social Media.
Scammers prey on those in need of work who are desperate and willing to do whatever it takes to get it in a difficult labor market and during high unemployment.
Scammers may charge for phony employment or even demand money from victims to aid in job searches.
They ask for money as a security deposit or application fee and steer candidates to a position that doesn’t exist.
They might also distribute spam emails that appear to be mass communications from employment agencies.
They pretend to be employers or recruiters to steal money and personal information to apply for credit cards or take out loans in the candidate’s name.
Many job candidates are looking for WFH positions following the COVID outbreak.
This trend is being used by scammers to spread fake job postings.
2. Social Media Counts for Around 12% of All Cases Where a Victim Clicks on Phishing URLs.
In a phishing link scam on social media, con artists lure their victims into clicking on dubious links that either steal their information or infect their devices with viruses.
The user is directed to an external website or webpage via the link. The website will often resemble the real site with a few small visual variations.
Even though social media is only one out of many ways a phishing attack may occur, it still counts for around 12% of all cases where a victim clicks on phishing URLs.
Other ways a phishing URL may be sent to an unsuspecting person is through text messaging, email, etc.
Phishing schemes are built to deceive consumers into disclosing personal information like usernames and passwords.
Phishing link schemes typically aim to obtain your login information for either personal or monetary benefit.
The possibility that visitors will click on a malicious link is increased by the employment of keyword-based marketing strategies in many phishing scams.
3. In the Year 2022, Inheritance Scam Victims Lost More than $200,000.
Many social media posts make extravagant promises of inheritance. The con artist poses as the attorney for a wealthy foreigner who passed away interstate.
Therefore, the executor of the estate must have the same last name as the dead, according to the lawyer.
Following the formal transfer of ownership of the property into the victim’s name, the con artist demands half of the money.
In actuality, there is no inheritance property, and the fraudster’s goal is to coerce the victim into paying upfront legal bills in exchange for money.
Many people contribute money in an effort to inherit this supposed real estate if they fall for this trap.
In this scam, the con artists claim to have inherited enormous wealth and valuable objects like gold or money and then demand money from the victim (as part of legal expenses) to get their hands on the items.
The con artists use phone calls, emails, and social media to stay in touch with their victims throughout this time.
They then vanish after the victim sends over the funds agreed upon.
Due to these scams, victims lost more than $200,000, according to the reported incidents in 2022.
4. About 16% of Social Media Scams Are Attributed to Imposter Scams.
Scammers posing as a trusted source, such as a government agency, a friend, or a business, to trick people into giving them money or personal information are a very common type of social media scams.
This practice is known as account cloning or an imposter scam.
In this type of scam, the scammers use someone’s name, profile photo, and personal information to build an identical social media account.
Scammers then use cloned accounts to send connection requests to the victim’s friends, family, and other acquaintances.
Once the request is granted, the con artists start having discussions while posing as the victim.
The goal is to solicit either money or information that can be utilized for shady financial activities.
This activity is seen quite often with clones/imposter accounts of the official social media accounts of different celebrities.
Cloned celebrity accounts are typically created by prefixing the names of the celebrities with @official or @fanpage.
An easy way to save yourself from this type of problem is to make sure to check for the verified badge (a blue tick on Facebook and Twitter, for example) to make sure you’re not being approached by an imposter.
This method of scamming people has been on the rise lately.
Government imposters, people pretending to be the victim’s family and friends, and business scams are the most prevalent in this category, and collectively they contribute to about 16% of social media scams.
5. Teenagers and Young Adults Are About 85% More Likely to Be a Victim of Shopping Scams than Older People.
Scams involving online shopping take advantage of the recent rise in popularity of social commerce by promising the ability to save money on purchases.
Social network users are contacted by con artists posing as reputable companies with online stores.
These fraudulent online shops cheat individuals by accepting payments but failing to deliver the goods instead of genuinely selling their stuff.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), teenagers and young adults are about 85% more likely to get scammed this way than older people.
Online shopping scams are indirectly made possible by the social commerce boom and rising consumer trust in online shopping sites.
Consumers find it challenging to distinguish between legal and fraudulent sales due to the existence of several fraudulent websites and techniques.
6. One-Third of All Scams Reported by People Over 50 Years of Age Are Lottery Scams.
In another kind of social media scam, people are promised a prize or a chance to win a lottery if they provide personal information or pay a fee.
The main premise of a lottery scam is to persuade individuals to purchase a phony lottery ticket in order to win a sizable sum of money.
After taking money from a group of people who purchase fraudulent lotteries, the con artists disappear, leaving the purchasers with nothing.
Scammers make phony lottery tickets that mimic legitimate lottery schemes in order to trick people into thinking they’ve won a large quantity of money.
To make them appear authentic, con artists will attach numbers or barcodes to these tickets.
Most of the time, elderly people seem to be more susceptible to this type of scam.
For example, according to the FTC, roughly one-third of all scams reported by people over 50 years of age were of the lottery/sweepstakes variety.
7. More than 50% of Investment Scams Occur Through Social Media Platforms with A Direct Message Option (like Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, Etc.)
Investment scams frequently employ social media direct message platforms to target people who are already weak and begin with pitches that make irrational claims.
Therefore, more than 50% of investment scams occur through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, etc.
These scams promise people high returns on investment if they provide money upfront. They are of the “get wealthy quick” variety.
Ponzi schemes, which imitate real investment possibilities, are among the most prevalent investment frauds.
New investors who are searching for quick, large profits are frequently the target of online investment scams.
Scams involving investments also prey on those trying to increase their retirement or savings.
Scams sometimes contain guarantees of large rewards or high returns.
The thieves vanish after the victim deposits the money, and all of their social media accounts are either erased or unreachable.
8. In 2022, the Civil Society, UK, Reported 44% More Money Lost to Charity Scams than The Previous Year.
Social media charity scams can hurt both legitimate organizations and individuals that are trying to change the world but fall for the fraud.
Scammers pose as representatives of respected charities on social media and solicit donations for worthwhile causes, but the money goes straight into their pockets.
In 2022, the Civil Society, UK, reported more than $2 million stolen by scammers by way of charity scams, which was 44% more than the previous year.
Because they employ the same strategies as actual charities, such as obtaining tax exemption certificates and employing aesthetically pleasing logos and graphics, these scams can seem convincing.
Additionally, they have the potential to spread quickly on social media, reaching plenty of prospective victims.
Charity fraud can also damage the standing of legitimate organizations that depend on public support and trust to fulfill their missions.
Scam victims may grow suspicious of all charities, making it challenging for legitimate groups to raise the money they require to carry out their vital job.
It’s crucial to conduct research and confirm a charity’s legitimacy before making a donation in order to protect yourself against charity fraud on social media.
Always be on the lookout for well-known and reputable organizations, and be wary of sudden requests for money on social media coming from people or organizations you don’t know.
Social Media Scamming Statistics: Types of Scams That “indirectly” Ask for Money or Sensitive Information
9. About 25% of All Social Media Scams Are Classified as Romance Scams.
People yearning for love and devotion are usually the most common target of romance frauds.
The offenders fabricate false profiles on well-known social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to seduce unwary people into a relationship.
Once inside, the con artists demand that the victim send money or gifts to “confirm” their devotion.
As per reports, about 25% of all reported social media scams can be classified as romance scams.
For instance, a con artist impersonating a wealthy woman on social media contacts the victim.
The message claims that the woman’s guardians have passed away and have left her with a sizable inheritance.
She continues by saying that she needs to find a reliable individual in order to move the money outside of her nation for security reasons.
She also says she wants to find a kind man to settle down with outside of her home nation.
She justifies her decision to leave the country by citing factors like a war, a hostile husband, or a threat to her life from hatred.
Most often, this kind of scam targets lonely and divorced males.
This deception is carried out by requesting costs for transferring money between banks, and the victim is duped into thinking that the fees must be paid in the currency of the destination nation.
The con artists take advantage of social engineering strategies to prey on people’s psychology.
Scammers start by building emotional connections with their victims before robbing them of substantial sums of money and completing their theft.
Religion and passion are frequently woven together in these schemes.
Most con artists portray themselves as “God-fearing” and “utterly pious” individuals.
10. In 2022, Organizations Worldwide Reported a Total Loss of $1.5 Billion Due to Influencer Scams.
Many self-proclaimed influencers that are found on social media entice naïve users to buy phony items and useless services by concealing their true character behind gorgeous lifestyle displays, controlled likes and comments by fake followers, and so on.
These influencers encourage their followers to purchase goods using their unique URLs in order to receive price breaks.
The consumer might be tricked into purchasing a fake or a replica of the actual product if these URLs lead to unreliable product sites.
And such scams are only limited to influencers scamming people. In fact, many genuine influencers also fall for these scams and fraudulent tactics.
And these scams are not limited to individuals because nowadays, even companies fall for such scams.
In 2022, companies lost around $1.5 billion worldwide due to influencer scams.
This metric was a combination of money lost to scam influencers as well as fake ad traffic and fake leads.
This happens because it has become quite easy to get lots of fake followers on social media, increasing your popularity on the surface.
Companies can also fall for such fake influencers just like individual victims can, and they can also lose a lot of money if they sign a contract with such people for advertising.
Other Social Media Scamming Facts and Stats
- Teens and young adults have been found to be most vulnerable to job/get-rich-quick scams.
- Elderly people have been found to be more vulnerable to tech support scams.
- A lot of people get scammed by people pretending to be social media influencers who steal from a lot of people every year.
- Many people also get scammed due to inheritance scams, where the victim is told to pay certain amounts of money to get access to a supposed inheritance.
- According to a recent report by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), social media scams cost consumers over $117 million in 2020.
- In the year 2020, the average loss per person due to social media scams was $200, with the largest loss being over $1 million.
How Many People Get Scammed on Social Media?
According to a recent study, about 25% of people get scammed on different social media websites and apps.
It is quite a worrying trend and one we need to be vigilant about.
Who Gets Scammed the Most on Social Media?
Depending on the exact type/method of scamming, there are different demographics of people who get scammed the most on social media.
Most people affected by the “get rich quick” schemes have generally been found to be teenagers and young adults, while tech scams affect elderly people by a great margin.
How Do Fraudsters Use Social Media?
There are many different ways fraudsters use social media for scamming people.
For instance, spam emails, phony corporate gifts, erroneous financial advice, phony sweepstakes winners, marketing for dubious health items, and even phony non-profit fundraisers are all examples of social media fraud.
The social media scams statistics show a troubling pattern that is harming both individuals and organizations financially and psychologically.
Social media platforms are being used by scammers to target victims with a range of strategies, including posing as respected groups and deceiving people into contributing money to a good cause.
Scammers have a lot of room to maneuver, thanks to the rising popularity of social media and the anonymity and ease of access that these platforms offer.