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.
The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.
- We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
- We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
- We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
- We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.
Facebook is Full of people talking about getting lots of money and people are are in very bad lost money. . Please help and get rid of the people talking about big money
In reply to Facebook is Full of people… by William Shannon
Easy. Get off Facebook. Problem solved. It's your responsibility to protect yourself with this information, not theirs.
Good info !!
Scammers address wilk tip you off that it’s not from who the ad claims to be from
Looks like the FTC is just waking up to the fact that there are scammers on social media. Warning people is one thing, but what will you DO about it?
In reply to Looks like the FTC is just… by Marge
Seriously? What do you think this info is? People really can't help themselves anymore can they? Too much babying, safe spaces and hand-holding makes you blame everyone but yourself. USE this info and learn to protect yourself and those you care about. That's the point. If this info wasn't out there like this you'd all whine about that. Can't win for trying eh?
Thank You! Good Info!
There is an ongoing scam, it always comes by text messages purporting to be from USPS and that my parcel cannot be delivered because they don't have my address. Some of the messages are from international numbers below.
1.+63 906 526 8768
2+44 7572 857464
Based on the knowledge I have acquired I definitely know its a scam because I did not order for any packages and if someone is sending a package without knowing my address that would be weird.
The other SMS scam I have received through text is "Are you there?" This was from phone number 401-402-0470 but I do realize the number could have been spoofed. I have also receive text messages of just "hello" but the strangest was asking for advise on the snacks which are popular in the state I live in. Why would someone genuinely send a message to a total stranger to ask for such information?
I have received WhatsApp messages from countries where I know no one , one of the messaged was "Hello, This is Betty, do you remember me?" . I think they were hoping I would fall for that as this is a common name, I simply block and report. Even from countries that I know people I just don't accept "friends" on social media!
In reply to There is an ongoing scam, it… by IWN
people text with a 'friendly' question or statement - just to see if you respond. Once you do, Then they can sell your number as a 'live' cell phone number.
It's so hard for us 'honest' people to be constantly alert and suspicious ... we're just not made that way. But the people who scam don't care, in fact they're counting on it.
But it's critical - for our financial and mental well-being! - to suspect just about EVERYTHING that comes to us electronically. As the article said, a message could look like it's from family/friend. Keep your guard up!
Thanks, FTC. You always have good information.
Madam/Sir, I have multiple followers on my Instagram account who declare themselves as Crypto coin business experts and request me to contact or start my own financial tradings. But I do not reply or follow them. I don't have any LinkedIn profile but sometimes fraudsters WhatsApp that they collect contact details from various job recruitment websites liked LinkedIn etc in order to pay you money for each Follow/Subscribe/Like on their Instagram/YouTube posts. Sometimes I get very unrealistic high paid online job offers on Telegram from foreign countries. Intially I chatted with few but later on Govt advertisements told me that such chats might lead to scams. In recent years during Covid19 pandemic one so called women was deeply engaged with me on Twitter. That person shared her photo and her young daughter's video. She also shared here WhatsApp number of USA on Twitter and I shared my WhatsApp number. Later on she started WhatsApp chatting almost everyday for some minutes. One day she introduced me herself as a business woman in apparel industry. She convinced me that she often goes to EU countries in order to purchase items and sale it in the USA at profit. She invited me to help her in business because I have done MBA in Marketing. But I refused to meet her blaming my economic conditions. Then she provided me a hyperlinked text message in order to earn money. But I left her. On Facebook I don't accept friend requests from unknowns or newly created accounts. I keep my privacy settings not for public viewing. I am happy to read your article on increasing social media frauds. Please keep on releasing such updates. Thank you!
Your website is a great eye opener for everybody. Thanks to your invaluable information I’m able to advise friends and family, and others. Thank you very much.
A dead giveaway that a Facebook contact is from a scammer is that I don't get a straightforward Friend Request from them. After posting an effusively complimentary message, they all claim they don't want to be pushy, so they suggest that I take the initiative and be the one who sends a friend request to them. R-i-g-h-t.
In reply to A dead giveaway that a… by KaseyW
A guy just did that. I didn't send the request.
I get "friend" requests on Facebook purportedly from high ranking military personnel saying they like my links. When I look at their history, there is none.
I have recently been "followed" on IG by strangers and received messages from them wanting to "meet" me. Their profiles look so FAKE!!! They are also following hundreds of other women!!! Do not even engage in this type of contact to put yourself in a position to be scammed out of any money or other important personal information. Scammers know how to get around FB & IG privacy policies. My mother was scammed out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by an IT support person who contacted her after a support call. It almost killed her. BE CAREFUL!!!
I have been messaging a man named Mike Lucas. He seems really nice, but too nice. I looked him up on ou scam page, and found his name. He is in San Franciscok and he works for Oil Rigs so he says. He has not asked me for anything yet. Is he still on the scam list? He has a dog named Max. a 9 and 16 year old granddaughters who are taken care of by a Nanny. His wife died of lung cancer, and his daughter was killed in a car accident. (Supposedly) I am going to let him talk for awhile, and then block him. I am so glad you post this scam page. Another women says sometimes his name will be De Marcus Steve.
One guy scamer my account on twitter I need help ples
Dating websites are about 80% scammers. There should be a requirement by theses sites to verify w/drivers license.