Facebook recently embarked on an initiative to prevent misinformation from spreading on the platform, and it also cracked down on hundreds of profiles in a so-called “spam purge.” However, according to a report in Ars Technica, other kinds of scams may be filling the vacuum left by this blocked content.
Security analyst Randy Abrams told the publication that a Facebook account belonging to one of his relatives was recently hacked and used to spread malware. According to Abrams, the hacked profile shared links to various pages, accounts and fake profiles depicting scantily-clad women. Of course, many of the pages also prompted visitors to enter their credit card information. Abrams noted that many of the fake profiles had over 6,000 likes — an indication that the scam is spreading rapidly on the platform.
Abrams reported the spam campaign to Facebook, but it was still active four days later. However, Ars Technica reported 11 profiles to Facebook’s PR department, and those pages were immediately taken down.
“We have removed a number of fake accounts in response to this report,” Facebook said. “Misrepresenting yourself on Facebook is against our policies, and we have a dedicated team that’s tasked with helping to detect and block these kinds of scams.”
There’s no hard proof that Facebook scams succeed more when the company focuses on stopping one kind in particular. However, the fact remains that spam spreads on the platform far faster than it can be stopped — and that’s a big problem.