Romance scams also increased in the second half of 2020 with the majority occurring on Facebook and Instagram. A lot of these kinds of scams reportedly begin with a message or friend request.
Another disturbing development found by the FTC is the increasing number of multi-level-marketing, or pyramid schemes, being advertised on social media platforms. The FTC has tied the increase in activity to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying folks are constantly looking for more ways to earn money.
Defining the problem
Ultimately, the crux of the problem is the fact that we heavily rely on social media platforms, which offer scammers low-cost access to millions of potential victims.
“The many scams that show up on social media may benefit from scammers’ low-cost access to entire networks of people. The scammer can hide behind a phony profile, pretend to be someone you know or even take over a real account. By hiding who they are, they can get into a virtual community you trust, leading you to be more likely to trust them,” the FTC report reads.