Fraud scams and schemers are ever-evolving. The snake-oil salesman was replaced by the telephone scammer, who was replaced by the robo-caller, who the email spammer then replaced. While none of these less than admirable professions have ever gone away, the new fraud frontier appears to reside in the world of social media.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently reported a steep increase in social media-initiated fraud scams in 2021. Since 2017, these scams have seen an 18-fold increase, accounting for about one-fourth of all consumer complaints. The net impact of this spike in social media-based fraud is estimated to be in the range of $770 million.
Common social media scams reported by consumers included investment, romance, and online shopping scams.