Scammers are using social media to go after your money and personal information. And it’s working: since 2021, people have reported losing $2.7 billion to scams that started on social media — way more than with any other contact method.
Scammers like social media because they can pretend to be someone they’re not. They can hack your profile, pretend to be you, and con your friends. They can target you and others using information from your profile like your age, hobbies, and what you buy. And they can do all this at little to no cost.
So what do social media scams often look like? Scammers might target you with an ad for something, but after you pay (for the thing that turns out to be fake), they take your money and run. Or they might try to sell you on a bogus investment opportunity (often involving cryptocurrency). Or they might send a friend request out of the blue and pretend to be a potential love interest. But then…they ask for money.
To avoid these and other scams on social media:
- Use your privacy settings to limit who can see your information and what you post.
- Don’t reply to messages that ask for money or personal information. Even if the message looks like it’s from a friend or family member, their account may have been hacked. Call them to check.
- Before you buy something, check out the company. Search online for its name along with words like “scam” or “complaint.”
Did you see or experience a scam on social media? Tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.