Meta platforms are a ‘hotbed’ for scams, warns Revolut

The majority of scam cases reported in the UK originate on one of Meta’s platforms, according to new data from Revolut.

The challenger bank said the number of scams reported by its customers from Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram grew to 66 per cent in the six months to the end of December 2023 compared to 52 per cent in the first half of the year.

Around a third of the total value of all money lost to scams began on Meta platforms across the same time period, it added.

Revolut said Europe was experiencing a similar situation, with 61 per cent of reported scam cases in the European Economic Area originating from Meta.

The bank found that the two most common types of scams were investment scams, where people are presented “get-rich-quick" opportunities in exchange for investing large sums of money, and purchase scams where people are conned into buying goods which do not exist.

Around 59 per cent of all money lost in 2023 was due to investment scams, despite only representing around 17 per cent of the total number of cases. Purchase scams were the most common type of scam, accounting for 50 per cent of cases in the UK but only leading to six per cent of overall value lost.

Woody Malouf, group head of financial crime at Revolut, said that the issue needed to be tackled “at source” and banks should be the last line of defence and not the only line of defence.

“It has become increasingly clear that Meta platforms are being used as a hotbed for scams,” Malouf said. “Our data not only shows that scams are being facilitated through social media platforms, but that investment scams in particular are resulting in life changing sums of money being stolen.

“We urge our customers to avoid so-called ‘investment opportunities’' promoted through such platforms. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”

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