Social media account takeovers increased by over 1,000% between 2020 and 2021, with 51% of social media account takeover victims losing funds or sales revenue as the result of an account compromise.

The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), a nonprofit established to support victims of identity crime, has published its 2022 Consumer Impact Report, which shows nearly 40% of ITRC victims say their personal information was stolen, compromised or misused in the past year. The report goes beyond the known financial implications of identity crimes and explores the lost opportunities as well as the emotional, physical and psychological impacts experienced by victims resulting from the crimes.

The ITRC has seen one type of attack grow by over 1,000% in the last 12 months — social media account takeover. The report included the results of a snap survey of 97 victims who reported a social media account takeover. According to the victims who responded to the micro-survey:

  • 85% percent had their Instagram accounts compromised
  • 25% had their Facebook account compromised
  • 48% clicked on a link they believed was from a friend
  • 22% responded to a cryptocurrency scam

Of all social media account takeover victims surveyed, 70% have been permanently locked out of their social media account. Two-thirds of respondents report the criminal continued to post as the account owner after the lockout.

For more information, download the report.