Facebook Marketplace is a great tool to connect communities and help people buy and sell goods. However, those same benefits of the platform also make it a popular target for scammers and cybercriminals looking to dupe unsuspecting users. For example, one aggressive hacker seized control of a young woman’s account in the UK and began using it to spam fake used car ads to thousands of users.
To make matters worse, the hacking victim says she has been unable to contact anyone at Facebook to help her resolve the problem. Some experts have even accused the social media giant of not cracking down hard enough on these scams because it rakes in ad revenue from fraudulent posts.
“Marketplace is a huge part of Facebook’s business — it’s one of the components that keeps people having a Facebook account and they are desperate to keep people on it,” global cybersecurity expert Jake Moore said. “They will do small amounts to limit scams but I don’t see them reducing it to zero because they can display adverts on these listings — so the best they offer is buyer awareness and putting warnings up… We saw it with cryptocurrency scams, and there was much made of the fact these were adverts Facebook was happy to take the money for while burying their head in the sand.”
This isn’t the first time Facebook has been accused of turning a blind eye to bad actors in order to make money. And while there’s no proof that this is occurring, it’s still not a good look for a company that is already severely distrusted by the public.
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