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Social media scams led to a loss of $770 million for US consumers in 2021

What’s the story

Major technology companies, including Meta, Match Group, and Coinbase, have joined forces to form a new coalition named ‘Tech Against Scams.’

The primary objective of this alliance is to combat online fraud prevalent across social media platforms, dating apps, and the cryptocurrency industry.

The coalition plans to counteract the tools utilized by scammers and enhance public education about financial scams.

The rising cost of online fraud

According to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), romance scams have become a significant issue, costing more than any other category of consumer fraud as of 2019.

The FTC also claimed that social media scams led to a loss of $770 million for US consumers in 2021, marking an 18-fold increase from 2017.

Furthermore, investment scams resulted in consumer losses exceeding $3.8 billion last year, over double the amount lost in 2021.

Crypto industry’s struggle with fraud and scams

The cryptocurrency industry has been significantly affected by fraud, with company founders and other notable figures facing legal consequences for fraud, money laundering, and hacks.

These scams often span multiple platforms. For instance, a dating app scam could lead a user to a fraudulent crypto exchange.

This cross-platform nature of scams has led to calls for improved data-sharing between firms to help tackle the issue.

Coalition members and their strategy against scams

Other crypto firms such as Kraken, Ripple, and Gemini have also joined the ‘Tech Against Scams’ coalition.

They aim to protect their customers against various types of fraud, including romance scams and a crypto scam known as “pig butchering,” which involves long-term investment fraud where victims are lured into making crypto investments.

Scammers are increasingly using AI technology to create persuasive interactions with their victims through FaceTime calls, phone calls, and emails.

Industry collaboration essential to prevent criminal activities

“Tech companies across industries collaborating with each other is essential in preventing criminal activities,” said Yoel Roth, VP of Trust & Safety at Match Group.

To safeguard users from fraud on their platforms, these firms will share tips and information with each other, and collaborate on methods to educate consumers about financial scams.

They will also work with law enforcement when required, by sharing information about online fraud/crimes that occur on their platforms.

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