To protect people’s safety and privacy, Meta and a financial services company Chime filed a joint lawsuit, against two Nigeria-based individuals who engaged in phishing attacks to deceive people online and gain access to their online financial accounts through online impersonation. Meta filed this action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging violations of Facebook’s and Instagram’s Terms and Policies.
Meta has taken several prior enforcement actions against the defendants, including disabling Facebook and Instagram accounts, blocking impersonating domains on its services and sending a cease and desist letter.
Impersonation scams are a serious challenge, and this action represents a major step forward in cross-industry collaboration against this abuse.
Between March 2020 and October 2021, the defendants engaged in phishing attacks intended to lure people using Facebook and Instagram to phishing websites with the goal of compromising their financial services accounts for profit. To conceal their activities, the defendants used a network of computers to control over 800 impersonating Facebook and Instagram accounts and evade technical enforcement measures.
“Online impersonation is prohibited across Meta technologies, and we’ll continue to take action to protect the people who use our technologies. Cross-industry collaboration is critical to disrupting this abuse and to Meta’s broader efforts to combat online impersonation. This lawsuit is a clear signal to those who would seek to engage in similar abuse that this behavior will not be tolerated,” says Jessica Romero, Director of Platform Enforcement and Litigation in a press note.
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