Are scams more common on certain social media sites?

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), more than 95,000 people reported losing a total of US$770mil (RM3.38bil) on social networks in 2021. — Photography Suwaree Tangbovornpichet/Getty Images/AFP Relaxnews

Whether on Facebook, TikTok or Instagram, scams are everywhere on the web. But is there one social network where we're most likely to come across a scam? A survey was designed to look into the matter.

"You have won the latest iPhone," "you're the recipient of a gift certificate." Most likely you have already seen a message like this, either circulating via email or on a social network feed. With social networks counting more than 4 billion users, there has never been such a big market potentially at risk of being the victim of a scam.

Cybersecurity specialist Lookout* conducted a study of 1000 US consumers to get a picture of where scams were most prevalent, which scams were most prevalent, and their impact on users' lives.

The Meta group and various threats

Eighty percent of the respondents said that they encounter social media scams every month, with between 30 and 60% encountering scams every week. Facebook is where users see scams most frequently with 62% reporting encountering scams every week. This is followed by TikTok (60%), WhatsApp (57%) and Instagram (56%). Twitter and LinkedIn finish the ranking with 53% and 31% of users respectively encountering scams there on a weekly basis.

It is worth noting that scams are even more widespread by email and SMS. Eighty-eight percent of those surveyed encounter a scam by email on a monthly basis, and 46% encounter scams on a daily basis. Meanwhile scams by text messages affect 83% of respondents, including 31% every day.

The most common scams

According to the survey, the type of scam varies depending on the social networks. However, there are similarities between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and WhatsApp, with the "Winning A Prize / A Free Gift Offer" scam coming out on top. Linkedin, on the other hand, is the most affected by scams related to jobs and cryptocurrencies.

Fake ads and shopping scams come in second for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. Relationship scams, on the other hand, are second most common on WhatsApp.

Where's the most common place for falling victim to a scam?

While Facebook was the place where users reported most often encountering scams, the top spot for falling victim to one was on WhatsApp. Twenty-two percent of those surveyed said they had been a victim of a scam on the instant messenger. That's more than on Facebook (19%), TikTok (15%), Instagram and Twitter (14% each) and LinkedIn (12%).

Of these victims, 56% lost money, 34% said their personal identity had been compromised, 32% lost time and 22% lost cryptocurrency.

The survey outlines that of the victims who lost money, 46% lost US$100 (RM439) or more, including 12% who lost more than US$1000 (RM4,397). Forty-five percent of people lost between US$11 (RM48) and US$100 (RM439).

*This survey was conducted in the United States for Lookout in July 2022, with 1,000 respondents. – AFP Relaxnews

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