Because of its massive size and reach, Facebook has a well-documented problem with scams spreading on its platform. The company filters out as much of the malware as it can, but millions of posts still slip through the cracks. However, the company came down hard on several suspected cybercriminals this week, suing a Hong Kong company and two Chinese citizens for infecting user accounts with malware and using them to run millions of dollars’ worth of scam advertising.
According to Facebook’s suit, the perpetrators tricked users into downloading a malware extension by bundling it with other programs. Then, the spammy program hijacked their accounts to run ads for counterfeit products, charging the ad purchases to the victim’s account. Thankfully, Facebook caught on to the criminal activity and put a stop to it.
“To protect Facebook users and disrupt these types of schemes, we will continue our work to detect malicious behavior directed towards our platform and enforce against violations of our Terms and Policies,” Facebook executives Jessica Romero and Rob Leathern wrote in a blog post. “Creating real world consequences for those who deceive users and engage in cloaking schemes is important in maintaining the integrity of our platform.”
Of course, this is just one of many similar scams on the site, and Facebook can’t catch all of them. So it’s up to us to be careful what we click, and report suspicious-seeming links when we see them.
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