FTC Calls Out Targeted Ads for Social Media Scams

Nearly $770 million was reported lost in 2021 to frauds initiated on social platforms

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Cases of fraud and scams on social media nearly doubled in 2021 from 2020, according to a report by the Federal Trade Commission. More than 95,000 people reported about $770 million in losses to fraud schemes like ecommerce scams initiated on online platforms.

“Data suggest that social media was far more profitable to scammers in 2021 than any other method of reaching people,” the agency said. 

The FTC suggests targeted advertising has played a role in the increase in scams, and has advised social media users to protect themselves by limiting who can see their posts and information while encouraging them to opt out of targeted advertising. 

That advice has understandably rankled the advertising industry.



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