Did you know that social media scams are constantly on the rise worldwide? According to a new report by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), more than 95,000 American citizens lost $770 million to social media scams in 2021. The financial loss was 18 times the loss in 2017, only $42 million. Meanwhile, the total number of people and age groups targeted was 19 times more than in 2017. Consequently, money lost to social media scams made up one-fourth of all losses to financial scams in 2021. To read more about the financial loss to scams in 2022 till now, check out the Claimers website. The company can recover your funds if you have been a victim of scams by using your data and maintaining your data privacy.
After looking at the above figures, it would not be a surprise if you have fallen for a financial scam or, specifically, a social media scam at least once in your life. So what should you do if you have been a victim of a social media scam? Before we tell you what actions to take, it is important to identify which type of social media you fell victim to.
Top 3 Social Media Scams You Need To Know:
- Free Gift Card and Lottery Scam
Social media platforms have pop-up ads claiming you have won the lottery or can get free gift cards to famous restaurants or shops. The ad usually contains a link; when clicked, you are requested to enter personal information like your name, address, and banking details to receive the prize. The website of the fund’s recovery company, The Claimers, stated you might even be asked to pay $1 to claim the lottery money or asked for your phone number, so the scammer charges you through your mobile network subscription. This scam takes advantage of people wanting to make free money, so you should avoid giving away your personal information.
- Healthcare Scam
Ads related to medicare health insurance, or social security are also displayed on social media. They offer services related to your insurance or social security card, such as replacing lost cards or correcting spellings of incorrect information. However, these services are provided for free by the real authorities, while scammers charge a fee for these services. The scam victims end up losing money and don’t receive the promised service either. You should first call the hotline number for these companies to verify the services offered in the social media ads, then transfer any money.
Social media has evolved as a great tool for communication which is why many relationships start on the internet. However, scammers misuse social media as a means to meet new people by creating fake profiles and stealing money from people after building trust with them in a fake relationship. If the social media profile seems too good to be true or the other person is rushing the relationship, it might be catfishing.
Now that you know the top social media scams affecting different age groups let’s look at three steps you should take if you are a victim of these scams.
- Do not maintain contact with the scammer.
If you have identified the scam and suffered financially, stop all contact with the scammer. Whether the communication was through social media platforms, phone calls, emails, or websites, block the scammer from all ways of contact.
- Gather all scam-related data
Here is a list of the data you should collect related to the scam to prove you’ve been scammed:
- Names, titles, or positions used by the scammers
- Social media profiles, posts, or any communication with the fraudsters
- Screenshots and URL links of websites
- Phone numbers used for contact
- Account details and transaction confirmations or receipts
- Any received mail, including envelopes or printouts of digital mail
- Contact the relevant authorities.
- The bank
Depending upon your method of payment, you should contact relevant authorities. For example, you should contact your bank if you sent money through your credit or debit card. It might be able to recover your money through a chargeback process that reverses the transaction.
- Local and National authorities
You should contact your provincial or state-level offices that deal with financial fraud, or you can even report to the local police. If you cannot recover your money, contact your federal government, as government agencies can track scammers and take legal action against them.
- Third-party companies
Your last resort should be third-party companies that can help you recover your money back from scammers. TheClaimers are one such investigative firm that specializes in tracking down scammers based on your data and interaction with the scammer. The company can also file a legal case on your behalf against the scammer to recover your money successfully.