Facebook is one of the greatest platforms for connecting people in human history. But with that unparalleled ability to put people in touch comes the risk it’ll be used for shady business. Indeed, as investigative website KrebsOnSecurity recently discovered, there’s a bustling underground network of private groups on Facebook engaged in all kinds of cybercrime.
In its report, the site discovered about 120 private discussion groups with more than 300,000 Facebook members engaged in scams ranging from fake tax refunds, wire fraud, spamming, wire fraud, account hacking and more. Perhaps most disturbingly, the average age for these groups was two years — meaning they’ve engaged in criminal behavior for a long time without Facebook doing anything about it.
Thankfully, the site acted within hours of receiving the list.
“We removed them as soon as we investigated,” Pete Voss, Facebook’s communications director, told KrebsOnSecurity. “As soon as we were aware of the report, and once we confirmed that they violated our Community Standards, we disabled them and removed the group admins. We encourage our community to report anything they see that they don’t think should be in Facebook, so we can take swift action.”
But still, this investigative report represents far from a comprehensive search, so it’s highly likely there are hundreds — or more — of these illicit groups still in existence.