New data published this morning has revealed that Instagram has seen a 155 per cent spike in impersonation fraud in the past year as the scam wars continue to plague social media.
According to research from Lloyds Bank, the uplift in tricksters can be contrasted with falling levels across Facebook and Snapchat, which were down 58 per cent and 84 per cent respectively.
Impersonation scams involve fraudsters sending requests for money, pretending to be a family member or friend whilst lying about phones being lost or damaged to trick victims.
The average amount lost to scammers hit around £336 for Instagram in the year up to March 2022, with the 18-24 year olds being the most likely to fall into the traps of fraudsters.
“Social media is now intimately woven into our lives – it’s how we stay in touch with people, see what’s in the news, treat ourselves to something new and keep up with influencers,” Fraud Prevention Director at Lloyds Bank Liz Ziegler commented.
“Sophisticated organised criminal gangs know this, and are ready to adapt their deceptive methods instantly, lurking around every virtual corner to try and part you from your hard earned cash”, she added.
The spike in impersonation fraud also coincides with a rise in romance scams, which generally impact users around the age of 45-54 according to Lloyds. The money lost is also much higher, averaging £15,957 per victim.