Beware: Facebook scams targeting radio listeners

Facebook scammers target radio stations and personalities.

Here’s how the scam works:

  • The scammer creates a fake station or personality page, stealing logos and photos of real stations or personalities without their permission
  • The scammer’s fake profile can then post on the station’s real page about a contest, telling readers to go to their fake page for contest details.
  • Or, the fake page contacts people who posted on the real station or personality page and tells them they’ve won a prize
  • The scam relies on people trusting the station/person and clicking on a bit.ly shortened link or passing on their details so the scammers can gain access to their accounts or accumulate enough information to take advantage of a another way.
  • Scammers seem to particularly target older audiences

As he investigated this scam over the past few weeks, radioinfo has learned that most Australian radio stations are currently targeted. Some don’t want to talk too much about it, while others are “shouting from the rooftops” as the threat to their listeners and reputation increases.

Sunshine Coast stations 92.7 MIX FM and 91.9 SEA FM were affected recently. The resort’s social media specialist Lachy Pugsley said radioInformation:

In the last month and a half, we have had a total of eight fake profiles claiming to be our advertisers from 92.7 MIX FM and 91.9 SEA FM. Fake profiles are:

    • BarRat-Juelz
    • Juelz Jarry
    • Elly Chaney
    • Marc-Caroline
    • Caroline Hutchinson
    • Todd Sami
    • Juelz-Jarry (a second time)
    • Mark-Caroline (a second time)

We have received many messages from our listeners asking if these profiles are “legit” and to see if they have earned the $1000 these pages promise. I have also received several phone calls from our listeners asking what to do when they have already handed over their card details.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve spoken to four different people about how to cancel their “subscription” with these profiles and how to cancel their credit cards. A listener directly messaged Caroline Hutchinson and 92.7 MIX FM on Facebook and said:

“Hi. Can you help me please? I got a message on a post about Caroline saying I should go to her website because there was something for me. When I went there , he said that I was one of 20 who were randomly chosen to win AUD 1000. Can you tell me if this is real as it seems to have disappeared from my facebook page Thank you so much Paula”

Paula then forwarded her credit card details to this website and has since seen money deducted from her account.

Upon further investigation, we have found that these scams steal our logos/intellectual property, previous Facebook and Instagram posts, and steal all of our talent photos, which is copyright infringement.

Once we see one of these profiles appear, we report it for “impersonate someone or a company” to Facebook.

Here is the standard response we receive after reporting counterfeits: “We reviewed your profile that you reported for impersonating someone [Caroline-Hutchinson]and do not believe that there is a violation”.

We also file reports through Google for the websites linked to these Facebook pages. These seem to be deleted much faster than Facebook pages.

We don’t know what else to do to stop these accounts. We have also attempted to email Facebook directly, but have yet to hear anything from Facebook regarding these fake profiles.

Just this week, Melbourne’s top afternoon announcer Gold 104.3, Toni Tenaglia, also faced the same issue and told our sister post radio today of a similar story:

She received a message from a listener checking to see if Toni had messaged her on the station’s Facebook page telling her she had won a prize, directing the listener to Toni’s fake Facebook page to claim it.

To say that Facebook didn’t help would be an understatement, according to Toni. “I reported the account as ‘someone impersonating me’ and – believe it or not – never got a response from Facebook. I got emails saying friends reported the page because I posted a message on MY Facebook page asking my friends to report it (yes, I see the irony in that).

While investigating the issue, we contacted Facebook online but, like Mix and Sea, received no response. Then we tried to find a contact number in Australia or America to call Facebook’s parent company Meta directly – no luck. Then we contacted ryan moore to Meta’s press department via the company’s media section for a response to our questions about the lack of responsiveness and failure to remove fake accounts in a timely manner… No response.

There are several issues at play here: fraud, copyright infringement, and deceptive business conduct.

Fraud: Is a police matter and potentially also a matter for the Australian Electronic Security Commissioner. Scam watch and australia Cybercrime Center two other government agencies are also involved.

Copyright Infringements: It’s a copyright issue in Australia, but Meta is based in America and outside of normal Australian legal processes. Facebook has detection algorithms but does not use them to solve this problem.

As one station told us, “Facebook has detected, issued warnings and temporarily blocked some of our accounts if we accidentally put part of a song in a post and infringe a singer’s copyright, it happens very quickly…but they are so slow to respond to our own complaints of copyright infringement when someone uses our logos and other copyrighted images.”

Deceptive business conduct: Promising that the company will resolve copyright complaints and then not doing so is misleading. The scams themselves are deceptive conduct. The ACCC enforces this element of business law in Australia. The corporate regulator has already sanctioned Facebook and is now taking legal action against it for other issues, but has yet to address this particular issue.

Media regulation: Australia’s media regulator said radioinfo, it has almost no power to handle social media. While the ACMA can handle broadcast violations and phone scams, it has no jurisdiction over Facebook.

Minister of Communications Paul Flecher said rbyeinfo that the Australian government expects platforms to be responsible and enforce their own terms of service.

“The government expects platforms to enforce their own terms of service, which in many cases include a real-name policy. In cases where someone uses a false name to abuse another person online, our Online Safety Act gives the Online Safety Commissioner the power to unmask credentials in order to send the end notice.

“In cases where someone uses a false name and is defamatory online, our government introduced the Anti-Trolling Bill to make social media companies more liable for defamatory comments from anonymous posters.

“Cases of financial fraud perpetrated online are police matters.”

radioinfo understands that Mix and Sea reported these incidents to the police.

An ACCC spokesperson said radioinfo that the competition and consumer regulator is currently pursuing legal action against Facebook/Meta for misleading and deceptive conduct in enabling money scams that used the images of David Koch and Dick Smith to spread. The essence of the matter is that Meta is responsible for the advertisements it posts on its platform. The ACCCs Scam Watch offers advice to consumers and provides a mechanism for reporting scams.

Big radio companies have generally been more successful in convincing Facebook to remove fraudulent content, but they say it’s like playing “hit a mole”, with new fraudulent pages appearing shortly after a content is removed. page.

RNA said radioinfo that this has been a problem in the past“but a combination of our social media monitoring and data security protocols mean that any fake accounts are identified quickly. We are also very proactive in informing our audience of fake pages both on the air and via social media. .

The company now has “a well-honed process in place to prove that we own the real accounts and represent ARN’s talent, which means Facebook acts quickly and removes fake accounts.”

ARN sees this problem as one of the “misleading and misleading conduct that misappropriates trademarks and brands and misrepresents RNA talent affiliations.”

In response to an increase in this activity, particularly on social media platforms, NOVA Entertainment “has put in place a range of surveillance methods that help with identification and reporting.”

A NOVA Entertainment spokesperson said radioInformation: “We especially appreciate the support we have received from Facebook to help stop this heinous behavior. We encourage everyone to remain vigilant and report instances of misconduct.

NOVA Entertainment takes matters of misleading or misleading behavior, scams, and intellectual property infringement very seriously, considering the harm this can cause to our valued listeners, employees, and the general public.

The networks say they are committed to working collaboratively with each other and with Facebook to root out harmful activity. They are calling for stricter enforcement and takedown measures to remove false and misleading information that has the ability to mislead Australian users online.

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