Revolut data reveals Meta platforms remain ‘hotbed’ for scams; warns customers to avoid get-rich-quick “investment opportunities”

Corporate · 8 February 2024

  • Revolut confirms 60% of its UK scam cases reported in 2023 originated through Meta platforms
  • Meta as the primary originator of scams is only increasing, rising from 52% of UK reported cases from January to June, to 66% in the six months to the end of December 2023
  • Investment Scams in particular made up 59% of all money lost to scams across the whole of 2023, whilst Purchase Scams were the most common type of scam
  • Fraudsters were more likely to target victims online, with 86% of all scams committed over the internet, and only 11% over the phone
  • Revolut, the financial global super app with over 35 million customers around the world, and 8+ million in the UK, has announced its latest scam data for 2023, revealing that the majority of all its reported scam cases in the UK started on Meta platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp).

    Across its UK customer base in 2023, Revolut found that 60% of all of its reported UK scam cases originated from just three sources: Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp. Additionally, 33% of the total value of all money lost to scams began on Meta platforms across the same period. The use of Meta platforms as the primary originator of scams is only increasing, rising from 52% of all reported cases in the UK in the first half of the year, to 66% in the six months to the end of December 2023

    The stark figures showed a similar trend across Revolut’s European markets, with 61% of all EEA (European Economic Area) reported scam cases originating from Meta, and 37% of the total value of all money lost to scams, starting from the social media giant.

    Type of scams

    Revolut found that a range of scams were being used to con people. The two most common types were Investment Scams, where individuals are promised “get-rich-quick” opportunities in exchange for “investing” large amounts of money, and Purchase Scams where people are conned into buying items that don’t exist or aren’t as advertised.

    Revolut’s data showed that 59% of all money lost to scams came through investment scams in 2023, despite only representing 17% of the total number of cases, showing that life changing sums of money were being lost across comparatively few cases. Conversely, Purchase Scams were the most common type of scam, representing 50% of UK scam cases across the same period, but less than 6% of the overall value lost, showing that smaller scams were more common but with lower monetary losses.

    Online vs Phone scams

    Revolut found that fraudsters preferred using the internet as a way to con people out of their money, with 86% of all scams in H2 2023 committed online, whilst scams carried out over the phone represented just 11% of all cases.

    Woody Malouf, Group Head of Financial Crime of Revolut, who yesterday gave evidence at a Home Affairs Select Committee on fraud, said:“At Revolut, we are committed to preventing scams and saving customers' money from ruthless criminals. However, it has become increasingly clear that Meta platforms are being used as a hotbed for scams. Our data not only shows that scams are being facilitated through social media platforms, but that investment scams in particular are resulting in life changing sums of money being stolen. We urge our customers to avoid so-called “investment opportunities'' promoted through such platforms. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

    “We are fully determined to protect our customers as best we can through our fraud prevention technologies, but there is no denying that this is an issue that also needs to be tackled at source to have any hope of being beaten. Banks and financial institutions should be the last line of defence, not the only line of defence.”

    Revolut takes fraud and the industry-wide risk of customers being scammed by organised criminals, very seriously. Protected by a 2,500-strong, 24/7 dedicated team, Revolut saved its customers more than £200m in potentially fraudulent transactions in 2022 alone. Revolut has robust protections in place for its millions of customers and analyses over half a billion transactions each month. Its security features include AI models, trained anti-financial crime professionals and experienced data scientists. Where it detects signs of fraud, it intervenes and investigates, and where customers do sadly fall victim to fraud despite our interventions, Revolut has front-line staff on hand 24/7 to provide support via Revolut’s secure in-APP Chat.

    Please note, Revolut will never call any customer without first contacting them via the in-App Chat.

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