Cybercriminals Are Running Scams On Facebook Accounts And Buying Up Ads Using Their Card Details

Cybercriminals are hacking other Facebook accounts and running advertisements with stolen money.

Frauds and scams on the internet. What else is new, right? Typically scammers and criminals conduct their illicit behavior in the interest of financial gain. Phishing attacks, identity fraud, and other such behavior is a direct result of the perpetrators wanting to gain some monetary benefit, either helping them out of tough times or making good times even better. However, the internet is both the birthplace and current residence of modern day trolls. They've migrated from bridges to social media platforms, often engaging in behavior that's less harmful and more racist and annoying. Then again, every now and then, we get trolls that are a bit more ambitious with what they try to conduct, and a little more daring with how they do it.

This is a fact that digital marketer Loni Mayse became intimately familiar with one random morning, where she noticed that 10 of the multiple Facebook ad accounts she possesses were running USD $15,000 ad for frivolous items that definitely were not asked for. One of such items was described as being a Christmas ornament of Santa Claus on a stripper pole. How tasteful. Ms. Mayse states that the hackers managed to get past all 10 of the accounts and post from them within minutes, costing an insane amount of money in damages. While all of that in and of itself is bad enough, what's worse is that these hackers seem completely uninterested in personal gain (unless they're selling the ornaments in which case a brilliant marketing strategy has been executed). All they seem interested in is what all trolls are interested in: causing annoyance and grief at the expense of another individual.

How are the scammers doing what they do? By exploiting the one job marketers are here to do: advertise. The scammers DM digital marketers via Facebook Messenger, with the purported intent of establishing a rapport and hiring them. Then, as they discuss fake stats and company figures, a PDF will be sent detailing a proposal. Of course, the marketer will be expected to download and read the PDF file, go through its terms and conditions, and then report back if they want to accept or reject the job. That isn't what ends up happening. Instead, what they've unwittingly downloaded is a .exe file which gives the scammers complete access to the marketer's Business Manager.

The scams are still ongoing, but they've cooled off for a bit. A big reason as to why that's the case is sloppiness and an egotistical attitude on behalf of the perpetrators. After conducting these scams, our cyber criminals took to the very platform that they conducted said crimes on, and actively boasted about them. Therefore, catching them ended up being an easier task than imagined. Of course the accounts that they posted from were fully fake, but it should still stick as a reminder that consequences are very much still possible for such users.

Photo: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV via Getty Images
H/T: Mashable.

Read next: 20 Percent of Consumers Aren’t Taking Necessary Cybersecurity Steps
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