Many lives are influenced by social media whether we like it or not; many use it to communicate, meet new people, shop, and stay in touch. The negative consequences of social media are just beginning to surface. Besides the negative mental health, societal and healthy lifestyle impacts, Wymoo International private investigators reveal that scammers are increasingly using social media to defraud people by the millions. According to a report from the Federal Trade Commission in the United States, more than one in four persons who claimed to have lost money to fraud indicated the scam began with a social media post, ad, or message from a “friend”. In fact, the findings imply that scammers found social media to be by far the most lucrative way to target their victims.
In 2021, more than 95,000 consumers reported $770 million in damages as a result of social media fraud. These losses account for nearly 25% of all fraud losses recorded that year, representing an astonishing eighteenfold increase over losses reported in 2017. Reports for all age groups are increasing, but in 2021, those between the ages of 18 and 39 were more than twice as likely as older people to report losing money to these scams.
Online criminals benefit greatly from social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. It is a low-cost method of reaching millions of people all over the world. It’s simple to create a fake persona, and scammers can use their fake profiles to find “friends” to swindle. They can fine-tune their strategy by examining the private information users disclose voluntarily in their own profiles or through the posts they share. For instance, one way to get scams going is to use the tools available to advertisers on social media platforms, and target individuals with false advertisements based on personal information such as their age, interests, or previous purchases.
International investigators also warn that con artists use social media in investment scams as well, particularly those involving fake cryptocurrency investments, which have increased significantly in recent years. More than half of those who reported losing money to investment fraud in 2021 said the fraud started on social media. Scammers advertise phony investment opportunities on social media platforms and even interact with users as alleged friends in order to persuade them to make a purchase. People transfer cryptocurrencies in the hopes of receiving massive returns, but instead never get anything in return.
Keep in mind that romance scams never get old, and social media is a one-stop shop for dating fraudsters. They can meet, talk and manipulate as many people as they like simultaneously in each and every social website, so it will probably continue to be scammers’ favorite destination for “business”. No social media site is immune.
The safest option is to avoid social media. If this isn’t an option for you, it’s best to restrict who can access your information and posts. All platforms collect data about you from your social media activity, but you can set certain restrictions by visiting your privacy settings. No social media is technically free, as you are paying with your personal data.
When it comes to new friends and romance, don’t let anyone put pressure on you to form a friendship or a relationship on social media. Take your time to learn more about this person and about romance fraud. If you feel interested in the person, make a good use of your money and hire a dating background check investigation from a professional.
Keep in mind that using social media has its risks, and these risks come in many different forms. Lower your risk by sharing less, and verifying new contacts.
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