Guest Post: US consumers lost over $930 million to social media scams in 2022

Social media has made our communication much more convenient, allowing us to easily keep in touch with family and friends and connect with like-minded people within a matter of seconds. However, it also made it much easier for cybercriminals to con us.

According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, consumers in the United States lost a whopping $931 million to social media scams this year (approximately $3.4 million per day). 

In total, 131,409 social media scams were reported in the first three quarters of 2022. While only approximately a tenth (12%) of reported scams took place on social media, it was the most lucrative channel for fraudsters bringing in more funds than any other medium. 

Websites and apps were the second most profitable channels for cybercriminals. Fraudsters looted $692 million via 136,553 scams on websites and apps from Q1 through Q3 of 2022. 

Phone call scams occupy the third spot on the list. FTC recorded 229,494 such schemes in the first three quarters of this year, which brought criminals $590 million. 

Next up is email fraud. Overall, 195,571 such scams were documented in the first three quarters of this year, which cost victims $309 million.

Meanwhile, scams conducted via text messages earned criminals $231 million. Despite occupying the fifth space in terms of losses, text message fraud was the most frequently reported, with 252,647 fraud instances disclosed in Q1 through Q3 of 2022.

Fraudsters also employed online ads and popups in their schemes. While FTC documented only 27,678 such cases, online ads and popup scams brought in $131 million.

Finally, US consumers also reported 25,803 mail scams. Collectively, such scams earned cybercriminals $53 million.

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