Social media attacks on the rise and victims feel financial, emotional impact
FTC reports almost $800 million lost to social media fraud in 2021
InvestigateTV - Social media hacks aren’t just an inconvenience for the owner of an account, it can put their income at risk and take a significant emotional toll.
Eva Velasquez, President and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), said her organization received a record number of identity crime complaints in 2021 and social media hacks saw one of the largest increases.
In 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported $797 million dollars in fraud losses connected to social media with the typical user losing around $400.
But for content creators on social platforms, the impact can be much bigger.
According to the ITRC’s latest report. the number of people who reported losing more than $10,000 doubled in 2021.
”There are so many folks that are using social media accounts, not just as a form of entertainment, but as a revenue generator,” Velasquez said. “When they end up losing that revenue, they have to rebuild it from the bottom up.”
Once hackers have control of an account, Velasquez said they attempt to scam money from followers. One victim reported a fraudster almost succeeded in stealing thousands of dollars from her audience.
Along with the lost money comes an emotional toll on victims. The same ITRC study showed 66% of people reported experiencing a strong emotional reaction to losing control of their accounts, and reported feeling violated, angry, and vulnerable.
Velasquez shared two main tips for anyone who has fallen victim to a scam or hacker:
Speak up: it can happen to anyone and it’s important to get help
Report it: The FTC, ITRC, and Better Business Bureau (BBB) all take reports of scams and fraud
You can report instances of fraud here:
www.idtheftcenter.org (use live chat feature) or call 888-400-5530
You can also report scams to your state Attorney General.
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