According To A Report, Scammers Are Buying Ads On TikTok To Promote Fake Gift Cards, Apps, Diet Pills, And More

According to a report, TikTok dubious advertisements have pushed users into being scammed on the social media platform. On Thursday, Tenable, a cybersecurity company, published a report regarding scams that are being spread on TikTok. According to the report, scammers are buying ads on the popular short-video-sharing application to promote diet pills, fake smartphone applications, fake gift cards, and various other bogus products as well as services.

The report highlights the challenges facing the social media app as companies like Oracle, Microsoft, and Walmart consider acquiring the app. The TikTok app could be banned in the United States if ByteDance, China-based TikTok’s parent company, does not sell the United States operations of TikTok. On the other hand, TikTok has filed a lawsuit challenging the upcoming ban, and it has repeatedly said that TikTok doesn’t share the US user data with the Chinese government.

A research engineer at Tenable, Satnam Narang, wrote in the report on TikTok scams that it is truly the Wild West of social media and it raises myriad concerns for a prospective American owner. The short-video-sharing platform has said that it has removed the ads identified in the detailed report on TikTok scams after Tenable published its findings.

A TikTok’s spokeswoman said that the company has strict policies to protect TikTokers from fake or misleading content, including ads. Although she did not reveal how many users viewed those ads, she said that TikTok has measures in place to detect as well as remove fraudulent advertisements. In the report, Narang identified four types of scams that appeared in those ads, and those ads were featured on the ‘For You’ page of TikTok. The For You page features based on your interests and your activity on TikTok. An ad on the platform even claimed that people could earn $433 each day by playing games. However, when a user clicked on that ad, they were redirected to Apple’s App Store where they were required to install an application on their smartphone which is just a mask of another dubious mobile app.

In some scam advertisements, scammers also used fake news articles that falsely claimed to be from Fox News or CNN to make it seems as if celebrities were promoting diet pills. In this case, people had to provide their payment information and addresses to get a ‘free bottle’ of diet pills, however, after providing this information, they were enrolled on a trial program. This program costs $90 if the user does not cancel within fourteen days.

Read next: TikTok Has Rolled Out A New Feature Called Stitch That Allows Users To Quote Clips Of Other Creators In Their Own Posts
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