Let’s face it, social media has infiltrated our lives with billions of individuals using some platform to stay in touch with family, friends, and business contacts. 

However, this popularity has also made social media a target for scammers.

We have gathered several social media scamming statistics for you in this article.

Wherever you go, you see people walking, sitting, and doing other activities in public places, at home, at work, or at school on their smartphones.

Many of these people are engaging on social media and/or creating videos and content for social media.

Social media networks are ripe venues for scammers, which is why we have gathered these statistics to help raise awareness of social media scams and the facts and figures to support our research.

There are many different types of social media scams, but some of the most common include investment scams, romance scams, and online shopping scams.

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Key Statistics

  • Social media scams made up $770 million in losses in the United States in 2021.
  • In 2021 the average social media scam victim lost a median $468.
  • In 2022, social media scams accounted for $1.2 billion in losses.
  • 31% of social media scams were reported by people between 18 and 59 in 2021.
  • In 2022, consumers in the United States lost more than $930 million to scams that started on social media.
  • 40% of romance scams started with social media contact.
  • In 2020, 63% of Italian social media users fell victim to a romance scam.
  • 59% of reports about online shopping scams revealed that the victim never received their order. 
  • In 2022, the second most reported fraud type was online shopping scams. 
  • 45% of monetary loss due to online shopping scams started on social media.

General Social Media Scamming Statistics in 2024

Social Media Scam

1. In 2021, Social Media Scams Made up $770 Million in Losses in The United States.

In 2021, social media scams accounted for $770 million in losses in the United States.

This is an eighteen-fold increase from 2017.

Social media scams start with a single post, direct message, or even an advertisement.

Over 95,000 people reported social media scams in 2021 alone.


2. In 2021 the Average Social Media Scam Victim Lost a Median $468.

The FTC revealed that in 2021, social media scams statistics show that they were responsible for a median individual loss of $468.

This is lower than phone fraud ($1,110 median loss per individual), but it’s still substantial.

These scams steal money from people who can often not afford to lose even the smallest amount of money.


3. In 2022, Social Media Scams Accounted for $1.2 Billion in Losses.

The FTC reported that monetary losses to social media scams accounted for $1.2 billion in total in 2022.

Social media scams represented the highest monetary losses right alongside phone fraud, which reported a median loss of $1,400 per report.

(FTC 2) 

4. 31% of Social Media Scams Were Reported by People Between 18 and 59 in 2021.

In 2021, the highest percentage of fraudulent scams occurred on social media (31%) and were perpetrated on adults between 18 and 59 years old.

Among adults 60 and older, this percentage was 15% in 2021.

The second highest was 30% for website or app scam losses among the 18 to 59 crowd. Among adults 60 and over, phone calls accounted for the most scam losses (24%).

(FTC 3)

5. In 2022, Consumers in The United States Lost More than $930 Million to Scams that Started on Social Media.

More than $930 million (USD) was lost out of the 131,409 social media scams that were reported in 2022.

Social media scams are quickly becoming the most lucrative method for scamming people out of their money.

(Atlas VPN)  

Romance Social Media Scam Statistics

6. 40% of Romance Scams Started with Social Media Contact.

In 2022, $1.3 billion was lost to romance scams in the United States. Almost 70,000 individuals reported falling victim to a romance scam.

The median amount per person came to $4,400. Reports show that 40% of these scams started from social media contact. 

(FTC 4)

7. In 2021, Romance Scams in Canada Accounted for Over $50 Million in Losses.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police reported that romance scam victims experienced monetary losses of over $50 million in 2021.

Most of these reports came from social media networking, where individuals turn to feel connected and find love. 


8. In 2022, Australians Experienced Around $40.6 Million Due to Romance Scams. 

Many of the romance scams perpetrated on Australians in 2022 happened over social media. These victims lost over $40 million to scammers.

Social networking scams alone revealed losses of over $80 million among 13,429 reports of overall scams. 

(ACCC Scamwatch)

9. Romance Scammers Use Lies to Lure Their Victims Into Giving Them Money.

Lies are at the forefront of how romance scammers on social media (and other delivery methods) get people to send them money.

The number one favorite lie is “I, or someone close to me is sick, hurt, or in jail.” These fraudsters pray on the sympathy and empathy of others to get what they want.

(FTC 4)

10. In 2020, 63% of Italian Social Media Users Fell Victim to A Romance Scam.

A 2020 study revealed that in Italy, 63% of social media users fell victim to at least one romance scam.

The main traits found in these victims included middle-aged females seeking romance in the idyllic sense.

They also leaned towards being impulsive and vulnerable to addiction. 

(Clinical Practice & Epidemiology in Mental Health)

Online Shopping Social Media Scam Statistics

Amazon Hacks to Save Money: Smart Online Shopping Tips

11. In 2021, 59% of Reports About Online Shopping Scams Revealed that The Victim Never Received Their Order. 

This kind of scam was reported by people between 18 and 59. The method of delivery of the scam varied, but 38% of the 59% included a social media message, post, or ad.

The online shopping scam that starts with social media outreach is one of the most prevalent methods used by social scammers. 

(FTC 3) 

12. In 2022, the Second Most Reported Fraud Type Was Online Shopping Scams. 

While not all of these instances started with social media contact, a good portion did.

It’s advised that you not engage with any shopping ad on social media apps, which is where many of these online shopping scams begin.

Go to the seller’s site and verify it first. 

(CBS News)

13. 45% of Monetary Loss Due to Online Shopping Scams Started on Social Media in 2021.

A whopping 45% of money loss was reported where the victim used social media for online shopping.

Some of these reports described the ads as popular retailer impersonation websites.

The sites look just like the real retailer website, but the goods are never delivered, resulting in monetary loss.

Almost 9 out of 10 said these scams occurred on Instagram or Facebook.


14. Almost 70% of Online Shopping Consumers Placed an Order on Social Media but Never Got Their Order.

In 2021, almost 70% of the online shoppers who said they ordered something after seeing a social media ad, never got their merchandise.

This problem has increased since social media shopping has become so popular. In fact, scammers are targeting the younger crowds on sites like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.


15. 46.7% of Online Shoppers Have Fallen Victim to Online Shopping Scams on Social Media.

A 2022 GoodFirms study revealed that 46.7% of online shoppers reported falling victim to an online shopping scam starting on social media.

According to the study, the recent popularity of using social commerce has resulted in fake stores, fake merchandise, lack of shipment of merchandise, and other shopping scams. 


Social Media Investment Scams Statistics

16. In 2021, Social Media Investment Scams Cost Individuals a Total of $285 Million. 

The FTC reported that around $285 million was lost to social media investment scams.

The percentage of investment scams came to 37% in the social media realm, and that figure is expected to grow.

Facebook, Telegram, Instagram, and WhatsApp are social networks used for investment scams. 

(NBC News)

17. 64% of Target Social Media Investment Scam Victims Paid Scammers via Cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency tends to be the most popular currency for transacting investment scams on social media with 64% of victims paying these scammers in crypto.

The FTC says crypto is the most common form of investment fraud reported on social media.

It is more common among social users under 50, but there are those who are 50 and older. 

(NBC News)

18. In 2021, 791 Victims Over 60 Years Old Lost Nearly $123 Million Due to Cons, Including Social Media Investment Scams.

Confidence scams are one of many scams that target people 60 and over.

These are often called grandparent scams where a grandchild’s name is used to coerce money from the grandparent.

Investment scams via social media are one of several fraudulent schemes used to target the elderly.

(IC3 Elder Fraud Report 2021)

19. 37% of Social Media Scams Involve Investment Scams.

Figures from 2021 show that 37% of social media scams were investment scams.

The total reported losses in 2021 to social media scams accounted for $770 million, of which 37% was from investment scams.

While everything isn’t a fraud on social media, you do need to be aware of the problem.


20. 54% of All Investment Scams Start on Social Media.

How To Trade Social Media Accounts

According to Forbes, 54% of all investment scams start on social media.

For reference in financial losses, $42 million was lost to investment fraud on social media in 2017 among the 5,000 people who reported this fraud.

Today, the losses exceed over $800 million among more instances.



Where Do the Most Social Media Scams Happen?

According to reports, Facebook sees the most social media scams over all the other social sites at 62%.

However, the rest are not lacking in scams. For instance, TikTok accounts for 60% of social media scams, second to Facebook.

The rest include WhatsApp (57%), Instagram (56%), Twitter (53%), and LinkedIn (31%). 

This data involves weekly scam engagement across all social platforms.

Also, it comes from 80% of survey respondents. It’s important to note that Facebook does own WhatsApp and Instagram. 

What Are the Most Common Types of Social Media Scams?

The most common types of social media scams include:

• Investment scams
• Romance scams
• Online shopping scams

What Are the Signs of A Social Media Scam?

It’s vital to know the signs of a social media scam. These are some red flags to watch for:

• Request for personal information, such as your Social Security number or bank account number.
• Promise easy money or a get-rich-quick scheme.
• Sense of urgency, such as a deadline to act.
• Grammatical errors or poor spelling.

How Can I Protect Myself from Social Media Scams?

Here are some tips on how to protect yourself from social media scams:

• Be aware of the signs of a scam.
• Don’t give out personal information to strangers.
• Be careful about what you click on.
• Use strong passwords and change them regularly.
• Keep your software up to date.
• Back up your data regularly.

What Should I Do if I Think I’ve Been Scammed?

• If you think you’ve been scammed, you should report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). 
• You can also report social media scams to the social media platform where you saw the scam. 
• By reporting social media scams, you can help to protect others from being scammed.
• You can also call the NCSA’s helpline at 1-888-387-7090.

By following these tips, you can help to protect yourself from social media scams.


Social media scams are a growing problem, but there are things you can do to protect yourself.

By being aware of the signs of a scam, being careful about what you click on, and using strong passwords, you can help to keep your personal information safe. 

You don’t have to fall victim to social media scams. Knowing is the first and best step to avoiding falling for these scams.

Scammers may also use social media to target specific groups of people, such as those who are elderly or who have recently experienced financial hardship.

If you think you’ve been scammed, report it to the FTC and the social media platform where you saw the scam.

We hope you feel more informed and aware of this type of scamming after reading these social media scamming statistics.  


AARPACCC ScamwatchAtlas VPN
CBS NewsClinical Practice & Epidemiology in Mental HealthForbes
FTC 4GoodFirmsIC3 Elder Fraud Report 2021