Social media fraud

February 1, 2022 - 3 minutes read

The Federal Trade Commission recently published a report about social media fraud in 2021. The FTC is reporting that $770 million dollars was scammed from US consumers via social media in 2021. These scams are nothing new and the lost dollars has risen drastically the last handful of years. As the pandemic continues and other social pressures continue, these frauds will be here to stay.

Top frauds reported

Some of the top frauds include romance scams, investments scams, and online shopping scams. All three of these scams topped the list for dollars lost and online shopping is the most reported scam type. These three scams are pretty consistently towards the top of the fraud lists every year.

Frauds and your small business

It is always important to be mindful of popular scams. These scams are similar to phishing emails in that they require little or no technical skill by the cybercriminal. These scams are also easy to fall victim to. So it is important to be on the lookout for these types of scams, especially if you purchase items for your business through social media.

What you can do

The FTC has some great suggestions to follow:

  • Limit who can see your posts and information on social media. All platforms collect information about you from your activities on social media, but visit your privacy settings to set some restrictions.
  • Check if you can opt out of targeted advertising. Some platforms let you do that.
  • If you get a message from a friend about an opportunity or an urgent need for money, call them. Their account may have been hacked – especially if they ask you to pay by cryptocurrency, gift card, or wire transfer. That’s how scammers ask you to pay.
  • If someone appears on your social media and rushes you to start a friendship or romance, slow down. Read about romance scams. And never send money to someone you haven’t met in person.
  • Before you buy, check out the company. Search online for its name plus “scam” or “complaint.”

I would like to add a few of our own as well:

  • Talk about these scams with your employees and raise awareness of them
  • Do not allow personal use of social media on your business accounts
  • Limit who has access to your social media accounts

For more information on cyber scams and other cybersecurity topics for small businesses, check out Small Business, Big Threat!