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DALLAS (KDAF) — Scamming is something that is extremely avoidable, yet Americans lost nearly $7 billion to online scams in 2021 according to Social Catfish.

And if you’re living in the state of Texas or California, you may want to pay close attention to this article. Social Catfish has put out a report on the state of internet scams in 2022 and it’s not looking good.

“A record $6.9 billion was lost to online scams in 2021 according to the FBI IC3. This is up nearly double from $3.5 billion in 2019 before the global pandemic started in 2020. The number of victims also jumped from 467,361 in 2019 to  847,376 last year. Scammers have grown increasingly sophisticated to capitalize on people working, shopping and dating online,” the report states.

The top five states who have lost the most money are:

  1. California
  2. Texas
  3. New York
  4. Florida
  5. Pennsylvania

In total, Texas had over 40,000 victims that lost a total of over $606 million for an average of nearly $15,000 per person. The report says these tips can help you avoid online scams:

  1. Do not give money to anyone you have never met in person.
  2. Do not give out personal information if you have never met in person
  3. Perform a reverse search using photos, emails, phone numbers, and addresses to verify if the person or entity you are speaking to online is who they say they are. 
  4. 5 big red flags include poor grammar, refusing to video chat, being in the military, working overseas, asking to be paid in gift cards or cryptocurrency.
  5. Use a password manager to create many passwords so if one has been compromised the rest of your accounts are protected.
  6. Read the Leaked Romance Scammer Training Manual: To get familiar with their tactics so you can recognize when you are being scammed. 
  7. Report any scam that you have been a part of immediately to the FTC, IC3, and FBI and your financial institution.

Be sure to check out the full report below: