We can see the same trend in this data, with a spike as the pandemic began, and levels remaining above where they were pre-pandemic. But we can also see that these types of posts were increasing in the second half of 2019.
That means it’s likely scammers were already ramping up their efforts before Covid-19 hit, but the virus offered them new opportunities to jump on.
The increase in these posts are huge. If we compare 1 January to 23 May this year to the same period in 2019, they’ve jumped by 230%. That’s a staggering rise.
When it came to the type of scams, we saw the same topics rising to the top as we saw in our search data. There were a lot of mentions referencing payment apps and online marketplaces, along with “money” being the biggest topic.
Worryingly, these types of posts aren’t falling in line with the falling search interest. This suggests that the situation isn’t improving on all fronts. It’s worth noting too that we’re looking at public social media posts reporting scams. Not everyone who falls victim to a scam will broadcast their misfortune, especially as the experience can leave people feeling ashamed.
Hopefully more people are becoming aware of them and can educate others to spot scams, but, for the time being, it seems plenty of scammers are still finding success.
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The Brandwatch React team