You can always count on the lowest of the low preying on those most susceptible to being scammed.

Elderly people are traditionally the segment of the population hit hardest by scammers. And 2022 was no exception.

According to a report by Social Catfish, seniors were the most victimized group. Overall, senior citizens were scammed out of a whopping $3.1 billion last year.

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Perhaps the most significant finding of the study was that teens and children were the group that saw the biggest increase in money lost due to scams. Victims under the age of 20 increased by almost 2,500% from 2017 to 2022. In comparison, the number of seniors scammed grew by 805% over the same period of time.

The increase in younger victims is a testament to just how much more sophisticated scams have become. Admittedly, I myself have had emails come through that looked legitimate, but upon further inspection by internet security professionals I passed them along to, they were determined to be scams.

The study also found that Texans were among the most targeted by scammers. In 2022, 38,661 Texans fell victim to online scams. The average loss per victim was $19,739.

Where Are Most People Being Scammed?

Out of 5,500 online scam victims, 32% happened on Facebook, 16% on Google Hangouts, 16% on WhatsApp, 16% on Plenty of Fish, and 14% on Instagram.

Overall, a record $10.3 billion was lost to online scams in 2022, up from $6.9 billion on 2021. Even worse, it is estimated that actual losses were around $200 billion in 2022, due to the fact that many victims are too embarrassed to come forward.

And that’s a damn shame.

Learn how to protect yourself from online scams at this location.

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