Meta takes major action against phishing attacks on Facebook and Instagram

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Meta takes major action against phishing attacks on Facebook and Instagram
This is the first time Meta has filed a joint complaint with a financial services company.Meta
  • Meta has filed a lawsuit against two Nigeria-based individuals.
  • The duo impersonated as Chime and carried out phishing attacks against users on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Prior to the lawsuit, both Meta and Chime had taken certain steps to stop them but the acts continued.
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Meta (formerly Facebook) along with American digital banking company Chime, filed a joint lawsuit against two Nigeria-based individuals who financially duped Facebook and Instagram users. According to Meta, more than 800 Instagram accounts and five Facebook accounts were used for phishing attacks, and this was done through a network of computers.

The defendants made Chime-impersonating Instagram accounts and used them to promote fake online financial services, Meta explained in the lawsuit. Users were then directed to Chime-branded phishing websites where they were prompted to enter their Chime account details and steal their funds. Chime is a banking app where people can open fee-free checking and saving accounts with direct deposit and a debit card. The fake websites looked quite like the original ones with the same Chime logo and branding.

The fraudster duo has been active ever since March 2020 and continued these phishing attacks until October 2021. And both Meta and Chime have been taking several actions to stop them. Meta said it disabled their Facebook and Instagram accounts, blocked Chime-impersonating domains on their platforms, and even sent cease-and-desist letters. Chime also took action to disable the defendants’ unauthorised access to Chime member accounts.

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But despite all these actions, the duo continued to carry out their phishing attacks. Meta and Chime are now seeking multiple actions against the defendants for violating both Facebook and Instagram policies and impersonating by using their intellectual property. This is also the first time Meta has filed a joint complaint with a financial services company.

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