Schemers increasingly target users of social media

Pew study: about 70 percent of Americans regularly use social media.

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – For years, email and the telephone have been used for identity theft and fraud. Experts say people are now just as likely to have their personal information stolen on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.

According to the Pew Research Center, about 70 percent of Americans regularly use social media. That’s why the AARP Massachusetts has launched a campaign to raise awareness for social media schemes.

“The more people get online, there are more potentials targets and more people willing to take advantage of it,” Tony Russell-Smith of Yes Computers told 22News. “A lot of these scams are historical but have been updated for the 21st Century.”

Russell-Smith also told 22News be careful accepting any friend request and limit the personal information on your accounts. Social media is also full of fake contests and employment schemes.

According to the FTC, more than 44,000 fraud and identity theft complaints were filed in Massachusetts last year, with each victim losing an average of $1,000.