Back in 2019 Facebook users ended up losing a grand total of about $134 million due to fake or scam ads on the platform, a number so staggering that most people would end up feeling quite alarmed and would most likely not want to keep using the platform for this reason as well as a wide range of other reasons all of which are quite relevant if you think about it. However, according to a report recently released by the Federal Trade Commission in the United States, these scam ads are rising at a rate that is truly concerning.
In just the first six month of 2020, consumers ended up losing about $117 million due to these ads so it looks like the number is going to be surpassed quite thoroughly this year. If you look at the number of reported cases, they have ended up doubling when you compare what happened last quarter. In the first quarter of 2020, about 8 million or so complaints were logged. The second quarter saw a doubling of this number with around 16 million reported cases of scam ads causing some kind of financial loss that users would have to contend with.
Online shopping in particular seems to be a pretty serious culprit here. Almost all users that clicked on online shopping ads on Facebook complained that they did not receive the item that they ordered and that they were not offered any kind of refund either. This can prove to be a huge crisis for Facebook for two reasons.
Firstly, people that see Facebook ads would be far less likely to trust them if you think about the impact that such ads can often have in terms of financial loss. Secondly, and perhaps even more important for the social media platform, Facebook has been attempting to move into the ecommerce sector and having hundreds of millions of dollars lost each ear due to scam ads is the sort of thing that would make it impossible for users to want to buy anything as they would assume that they would just lose money in the process.