Facebook is a Cesspool of Fraud, Fake Accounts, and Scammers..

In my latest video I take a deep dive into the troubling world of Facebook’s rampant fraud, fake accounts and scams. Most of what I investigated here are based on my own experiences and observations.

What prompted this investigation was an incident involving a friend whose car was stolen. After she posted about it on Facebook, her post was swarmed by scammers, a clear indication of how these predators prey on vulnerable individuals. Here’s what a few of the comments looked like:

This incident prompted me to conduct an experiment: I created a “honeypot” post on my Facebook page, pretending to seek help for a hacked account. The response was overwhelming and immediate, with over two dozen scammers flocking to offer ‘help,’ all from fake accounts. If these scammers are contacted they almost will certainly demand money from their victims and then disappear.

This experiment highlighted two critical issues with Facebook: the lack of adequate support for users with account problems and the platform’s failure to enforce its own rules against fraudulent activities.

When I reported a scam comment from a “Daniel Sarvela” to Facebook they did nothing about it, even after an appeal. This inaction allows fake accounts to proliferate, scamming more people without consequence.

And that “Daniel Sarvela” I reported? It turns out the fake account was made from images posted by an unsuspecting father and community volunteer from Australia. Facebook’s systems could very easily detect that photos from the victim were being stolen for a fake account yet they do nothing about it. Meanwhile this man’s likeness is being used to steal from vulnerable Facebook users.

But that’s not all.. In checking my recent friend requests, 7 of the 8 top requests on my profile are all cloned accounts of friends of mine. One of them cloned my uncle’s account and tricked my wife into accepting his friend request. The scammer then began a chat with her where he was about to ask for money before she got wise to the scheme.

The problem extends beyond simple scams. I discussed the disturbing trend of pig butchering schemes where lonely individuals lose hundreds of thousands of dollars to fake crypto investment schemes and the human trafficking linked to these scams.

With Facebook apparently doing nothing to combat these scams, I believe education and awareness are key. Resources like the AARP’s Fraud Watch Network and the podcast “The Perfect Scam” are invaluable for understanding and avoiding scams. The YouTube channel “Catfished” by SocialCatfish.com is another excellent resource, particularly for understanding romance scams.

Despite being the largest social media network with the largest number of vulnerable users, Facebook’s efforts to address these problems is completely insufficient. This situation underscores the importance of staying vigilant and informed to safeguard ourselves and our loved ones in the digital world.

A Follow-up on the Facebook Class Action Suit

In a follow-up video discussing the Facebook privacy lawsuit, I addressed several questions from viewers about my decision to opt out of the suit. You can see the update video here.

In the new video I emphasized that my choice is grounded in the principle of taking a stand against abuse from corporations and lawyers.

To illustrate my point, I compared the current privacy lawsuit to a previous lawsuit against Facebook regarding facial recognition. In that case, Judge James Donato of California pushed for a better settlement that was 3 times higher than what was originally negotiated, resulting in increased payouts for affected consumers, less money to the lawyers and a narrower scope of immunity for Facebook.

In other words, “we the people” still have some power to influence decisions that lead to better outcomes. But we have to choose to exercise that power and unfortunately too many don’t.

In the video I shed light on the phenomenon of “no action bias,” which refers to people’s preference to do nothing over something. This, I believe, often leads to consumers accepting unfavorable situations. I use an example of my local power company Eversource doubling electric supply rates and how 82% of consumers opted to pay more vs. filling out a simple form to pick a lower cost supplier.

I urge all consumers to be proactive in taking principled stands against corporate and legal abuse. It is only through our collective efforts that we can make a real difference and hold corporations and lawyers accountable for their actions.

I am Opting out of the Facebook Class Action Settlement

Facebook settled a privacy lawsuit for $725 million related to the Cambridge Analytica scandal and other data sharing practices from 2007 to 2022. Over 200 million people in the United States are automatically included in the class unless they opt out.

In my latest video we take a look at the settlement and why I think the lawyers and Facebook / Meta are the only ones who really benefit.

The lawyers involved in the case are set to receive 25% of the settlement fund, which amounts to about $181 million. Users are expected to receive just a couple of bucks each depending on the length of time they have been Facebook users. The settlement also prevents users from participating in any future lawsuits against Facebook or their parent company Meta regarding any issue related to data sharing that took place throughout the fifteen years the lawsuit covers.

Anyone in the United States that had a Facebook account between 2007-2022 will automatically be included in the class even if they don’t file for a compensation claim. That means unless individuals take the effort to opt-out they will be barred from any legal action against Facebook should additional data sharing scandals and or damages arise in the future.

To opt out of the settlement and preserve your rights, you can visit the Facebook lawsuit website and follow the opt-out instructions.