OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Scammers have found a gold mine online, and the rise in those falling prey is steep and staggering.
The Federal Trade Commission says fraudsters have shifted largely to social media.
In 2021, at least 95,000 Americans reported falling victim through social media. The number is more than double the reported cases from 2020, and 19-times higher than just four years ago.
The amount lost last year topped $770 million.
The FTC says social media “was far more profitable to scammers in 2021 than any other method of reaching people.”
According to the study, 37 percent of people falling victim were targeted with phony investments.
Coming in second place were romance scams, followed by online shopping fraud.
The FTC advises Americans to adjust their online privacy settings and limit who can see their information.
They advise consumers to consider opting out of targeted advertising and avoid sending money to anyone you haven’t met in real life.