Most of the Ads Appearing on Instagram and Facebook Are Scams, Researchers Claim

According to an analysis by a consumer group, Which?, and research charity, Demos Consulting, many scammers are on the loose on Instagram and Facebook but this time they are disguised as ads. These two groups researched 1,000 ads on Instagram and Facebook which were looking like scams. 484 of these ads were about investments. Cryptocurrencies and NFTs were included in the investment products of this research. These kinds of investment ads were claiming high returns but none of them were clear cut about how they get these returns. The research also found many ads about a type of investment that is banned. Binary trading has been banned by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) since 2019 because this type of investment seems like gambling. In Binary Trading, an investor has to bet on the outcome of a product in a specified time by choosing between two options. When this got banned, the authorities warned the consumers about the fraud that could happen in the name of Binary Options.

When Which? put this analysis to the public, Meta immediately took action on both of its apps and removed the apps which were being a threat after breaking the rules given by Meta. Meta also says that financial frauds are against everything the company promotes so we have started working on the investment and financial ads which will be first approved by FCA before being public in the UK.

Most of the scam ads were found from a firm named Tesler. This month, 39 ads appeared which were about Tesler Investment software. When a consumer clicks on an ad, he gets redirected to a page that wants his contact details. In an hour, the person who has given his contact details receives a call from Tesler where a representative forces the ad clicker into making an investment account on Tesler. Most of the time, the representative says that Tesler has a nice algorithm that promises an 87% success rate. The research found 89 ads that had three to four risk warnings while there were no promises of returns. About 23 had more than five risk warnings. All of these ads were found in Meta’s public library for ads.

Which? says that Meta has to work on protecting consumers from advertising fraud. The government should also play its role by passing the Online Safety Bill which should be enrolled in the law. This will stop scammers and frauds from getting into online systems to fool users with their fake ads.

Photo: Photothek via Getty Images

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