Consumer Advocates Warn About “Epidemic Of Fraud” On Facebook

By now, it’s well known that Facebook is a ripe target for hackers and scammers. However, the social media giant doesn’t seem to be keeping up with the sheer volume of threats users face. New research from UK consumer watchdog group Which? found widespread scam advertisements on Facebook and other major social platforms, contributing to record-breaking levels of fraud in the country last year.

On Facebook, researchers said they were easily able to find multiple copycat advertisements impersonating well-known brands around the time of Black Friday deals in the fall. However, after advocates reported the ads to Facebook, they never heard back if the ads were blocked or removed. Because of this failure, the group is now calling for a government position to be created solely to tackle the issue of fraud.

“Most of the major social media platforms and search engines are still failing to protect their users from scam ads, despite forthcoming laws that will force them to tackle the problem,” Which? director of policy and advocacy Rocio Concha said. “The Government needs to make tackling fraud a national priority and appoint a fraud minister who can ensure there is a coordinated pushback against the epidemic of fraud gripping the UK.”

While this study only looked at the UK, it’s likely that the rate of Facebook fraud in the US is similar, if not worse. Hopefully our lawmakers can be pushed in a similar manner to hold Facebook responsible for this widespread problem.

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