Lookout Study Identifies Consumer Intensification Over | Be careful | So Good News


Over 60% of the world’s population relies on technology to go about their daily lives – that’s over 5 billion people! Unfortunately, with a large audience on the Internet, bad actors have turned to technology to send scams and make a profit. Scammers use a number of techniques to target people with fake and sophisticated technology that looks real, with the goal of tricking them into handing over personal information. From fake phone calls that appear to be from reputable companies to “special ads” on social media, to fake versions of legitimate websites, emails, and text messages, scams are now popping up everywhere – all the time.

In order to shed light on the global nature of digital fraud, Lookout conducted a survey that spoke to 1,000 US consumers to understand where (and how often) people experience fraud, whether they have experienced fraud, and the consequences. The findings confirm that we are in the midst of a digital “hypocrisy boom”, where many people are constantly exposed to gossip on many digital platforms, and social media is emerging as a place where people are victimized.

Fraud is happening everywhere and all the time

It should come as no surprise that phishing emails and text messages are among the most common. In fact, our research shows that every month, about 9 out of 10 respondents received a fraudulent email, and 8 out of 10 received a scam.

Taking a deeper look, 46% of these people reported receiving scams every day via email, and 31% via text message. Traditional media like email and texting aren’t the only way criminals reach people. Social media has emerged as an important area for fraudsters, with 80% of respondents saying they experience social media gossip every month; and 34% of these are exposed to gossip every day.

The rise of social media fraud

In 2022, social networks will reach 3.96 billion users, according to Statistica, – and unfortunately, malicious actors will turn to the platform to find their victims.

Earlier this year, the Better Business Bureau reported that social media is the number one place people report being scammed. And the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also said that social networks have become a “gold mine” of fraud, and more than 95,000 people reported a loss of $ 770 million due to fraud launched on social networks in 2021.

Recent Lookout results have shown that, depending on the social network, 30 to 60% of people are exposed to gossip every week. For example, people say they have encountered gossip most often on Facebook (62%) followed by TikTok (60%), WhatsApp (57%), Instagram (56%), Twitter (53%), and LinkedIn (31%).

Social media fraud varies by platform

People often report experiencing social media gossip that comes from an ad, post, or message. According to our research findings, the most common scams we encounter on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and WhatsApp are related to “Win a Prize” or “Free Gift.” The second most common type of fraud reported on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok is related to “False Advertising or Advertising.”

Interestingly, the top scams found on LinkedIn were “Job Related” and “Cryptocurrency” scams. On LinkedIn’s website, the company explains that job fraud involves people pretending to be employers or employers offering high-paying jobs for little work. This can include mystery shoppers, homework, or welfare fraud.

Many people are affected by social media scams

Of those who have experienced a scam on social media, nearly 2 in 10 also reported having experienced a scam on a website.

The number one site where people reported being scammed was WhatsApp (22%), followed by Facebook (19%), TikTok (15%), Instagram (14%), Twitter (14%), and LinkedIn (12%).

The dangers of social media fraud

Among the victims of fraud, the consequences included lost money, stolen personal information, lost time, and lost cryptocurrency.

Victims have reported anywhere from $1 to $1,000+ in losses

Tips to protect yourself from digital fraud

While our survey results show that digital and social fraud is on the rise, there is good news: Consumers can take steps to protect their security, privacy, and financial information from fraud.

Be sure to be aware of online and social media scams, and remember that not everything you see online is real.


Before you buy, research the company online to make sure it’s a legitimate business and read customer reviews. Beware of:

  • Offers that seem too good to be true
  • Messages that contain typographical or spelling errors
  • Messages that generate a lot of speed
  • Messages that ask for personal or financial information.


If you receive a message from a “friend” on social media about an opportunity or urgent need for money, do not directly respond to the message. Instead, call them directly to confirm. This type of message is a sign that their account may have been compromised – especially when they ask you to pay with cryptocurrency or wire transfer.

Online payment

Don’t send money (traditional or cryptocurrency) to sources you can’t verify in person.

Phishing attacks are becoming increasingly difficult to detect with the naked eye. Consider using advanced protection — including anti-malware and Safe Browsing protection — that scans every app and link you click on and blocks threats before they can harm you.

*This survey was conducted in the United States on behalf of Lookout in July 2022, among 1,000 respondents.

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network blog from Lookout Blogs written by Lookout Blogs. Read the original article at: https://resources2.lookout.com/blog/consumer-scam-surge


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