Mark Zuckerberg‘s Meta is teaming up Fintech Chime in order to go after (alleged) Nigerian scammers that the firms claim have been using social media channels to trick or deceive unsuspecting users out of their hard-earned cash.
As reported by Newsweek, the lawsuit marks the first time that Meta has teamed up with a financial services provider like Chime to take legal action. The filing states that the Nigerian defendants had made attempts to impersonate Chime on social media platforms like Facebook. They had allegedly lured their victims to malicious phishing websites and then asked them to provide their Chime usernames and passwords. The main objective, according to the suit, was to steal funds from Chime banking accounts.
The phishing scam reportedly took place around March 2020 and went on until about October of last year. The suit, which had been filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges that the defendants had over five different Facebook accounts and were also in control of over 800 Instagram accounts.
As mentioned in the update, Meta is working cooperatively with Chime in order to go after the bad actors for (allegedly) using social media channels to cheat consumers out of their funds.
Starting in June 2020, Meta had taken steps to address seemingly suspicious activity, such as disabling certain Facebook and Instagram accounts, and also blocking Chime-impersonating domains while also sending cease-and-desist letters.
Court records now indicate that Chime had been working to take down many of these bogus/fraudulent sites and accounts that used the firm’s name and even their official logo.
While it’s not completely clear just how much the scammers might have stolen from the fraudulent scheme, the suit notes that Chime plans to “be awarded statutory damages in the amount of $2,000,000 for each of the Chime (Trademarks) counterfeited by each of the Defendants.”
Meta also submitted a federal phishing suit in California in December of last year. The firm stated that this particular scheme involved over 39,000 sites allegedly impersonating the login pages of Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
Meta’s director of platform enforcement and litigation stated:
“This lawsuit is one more step in our ongoing efforts to protect people’s safety and privacy, send a clear message to those trying to abuse our platform, and increase accountability of those who abuse technology. We will also continue to collaborate with online hosting and service providers to identify and disrupt phishing attacks as they occur.”