Facebook Launches Feature to Crackdown Fake Ads and Scammers

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In a bid to crackdown scammers online, Facebook has launched a new feature that will let users more easily report fake ads on its platform.

News of the feature was announced following Facebook’s court settlement with Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis as he sued over this name and photo being used on fake ads via the platform.

Facebook has since dropped the case and in return, agreed to donate £3 million to set up an anti-scam programme with the money given to Citizens Advice to build a new service to help victims from online fraud and scammers.

These sort of scam ads have been contented with for some time, particularly in the affiliate space where the so-called “black hat affiliates” use ads which utilise a high profile name and photo to encourage users to click fake affiliate links and purchase as part of a get-rich-quick scheme method.

From today (July 16), Facebook will allow UK users to flag any ads they believe to be scams or misleading. This can be completed by clicking the three dots in the top right corner of an ad on by pressing ‘report ad’. There will also be the option to choose ‘misleading or scam ad’ and then ‘send a detailed scam report’ to Facebook as part of the process. An alert will then be sent to a new internal operations team who will handle the reports to crackdown on any fake ads causing a violation.

As part of the development, the dedicated UK team will also help enforcement and drive improvements to the platform to ensure online fraudsters are dealt with accordingly.

“Scam ads are an industry-wide problem caused by criminals and have no place on Facebook,” said the company’s vice-president for Northern Europe, Steve Hatch; “Through our work with Martin Lewis, we’re taking a market-leading position and our new reporting tool and dedicated team are important steps to stop the misuse of our platform.”

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