Fraud scams surging on Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram


An increasing amount of financial scams are taking place via social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, according to analysis by a leading bank.

TSB has said 80% of its cases within the three biggest fraud categories came through the Meta-owned companies after analysing its own internal data over the space of two years.

These fraud categories are purchase, impersonation, and investment fraud by case load/volume.

TSB fraud experts have warned users to keep an eye out for random messages claiming to be from family or friends and advised directly contacting the person in question before transferring money to them.

The UK bank also told those new to investing to stick to recognised investment platforms, and avoid ‘get rich quick’ schemes prominent on social media.

After launching the fraud guarantee refund in 2019, TSB reimbursed 97% of those involved in its fraud cases – excluding those who have been involved in the fraud themselves or those who exploit the guarantee.

Paul Davis, director of fraud prevention at TSB, said: “Social media companies must urgently clean up their platforms to protect the countless innocent people who use their services every day.

More on Meta

“In the meantime, we are urging the public to remain cautious to potential scam content – and to spread the word to help protect those around you.”

Meta says it is taking action and has joined with Stop Scams UK to launch a WhatsApp awareness campaign – Stop. Think. Call.

And financial services advertisers on Meta platforms targeting users in the UK now have to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

A Meta spokesperson said: “This is an industry-wide issue and scammers are using increasingly sophisticated methods to defraud people in a range of ways including email, SMS, and offline.

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“We don’t want anyone to fall victim to these criminals which is why our platforms have systems to block scams, financial services advertisers now have to be FCA authorised and we run consumer awareness campaigns on how to spot fraudulent behaviour.

“People can also report this content in a few simple clicks and we work with the police to support their investigations.”

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