Instagram impersonation defrauds celestial rocket by 155%

Tuesday, April 12, 2022 5:59 a.m.

New data released this morning revealed that Instagram has seen a 155% increase in impersonation fraud over the past year as scam wars continue to rage across social media.

According to research from Lloyds Bank, the rise in the number of scammers can be compared to falling levels on Facebook and Snapchat, which fell by 58% and 84% respectively.

Impersonation scams involve fraudsters sending money requests, pretending to be a family member or friend while lying about lost or damaged phones to trick victims.

The average amount lost to scammers reached around £336 for Instagram in the year to March 2022, with 18-24 year olds the most likely to fall into the traps of scammers.

“Social media is now intertwined with our lives – it’s how we stay in touch with people, see what’s happening in the news, offer something new and follow influencers,” commented Liz. Ziegler, director of fraud prevention at Lloyds Bank.

“Sophisticated organized crime gangs know this and are ready to adapt their deceptive methods instantly, hiding in every virtual corner to try and part with you from your hard-earned cash,” she added.

The spike in identity theft fraud also coincides with a rise in romance scams, which typically affect users between the ages of 45 and 54 according to Lloyds. The money lost is also much higher, with an average of £15,957 per victim.

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