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Social media is emerging as the new hunting ground for scammers to find victims, according to new data out today.The consumer watchdog's annual scam report also identifies a whopping 47 per cent increase in all reports it receives about scams.Fake trader scams are increasing, where victims see advertisements for online stores on social media selling discounted products made by well-known brands.

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Ms Rickard said the majority of reports to Scamwatch about scams via social media were taking place on Facebook."The ACCC is working with Facebook, as well as the major banks, Money Gram, Paypal, Western Union and Apple to better tackle scams and reduce the harm experienced by consumers," Ms Rickard said.

A spokesperson for Facebook said that security was built into every Facebook product and design."Our security systems run in the background millions of times per second to help catch threats and remove them before they ever reach users," the spokesperson said in a statement."Staying ahead of those who try to misuse our service is a constant effort, and we work constantly to detect and block harmful activity, including removing accounts."The spokesperson said the social media giant had obtained nearly $2 billion in legal judgments against spammers, and provided a high-level briefing for the ACCC about its work on scam detection and disruption.

About 30 per cent of dating and romance scam victims — 1,352 people — reported they were contacted via social media sites, in particular Facebook."Dating and romance scammers trick their victims into falling in love with them and then use their victim's trust to deceitfully take their money," Ms Rickard said.

Dating and romance scams cost Australians million in 2016, behind investment scams, which tallied the most losses to scammers at million.She ultimately avoided being scammed after a friend who worked in IT raised alarm bells when she told him about the messages."I handed over my phone rather reluctantly, and he said it had all been copied and pasted, and I felt a little indignant.She ultimately deleted the messages and reported the name of the scammer to the ACCC-run site Scamwatch. This explains how we collect, store, protect, and share your information, and with whom we share it.We suggest you read this in conjunction with our brilliant Terms and Conditions of Use. We (Oath) and our partners need your consent to access your device, set cookies, and use your data, including your location, to understand your interests, provide relevant ads and measure their effectiveness.

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