Instagram is ignoring calls to shut down dangerous profiles run by scammers and has failed to prevent ‘blatant criminal activity’, fraud bosses at TSB say
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One of Britain’s largest high street banks has hit out at Instagram for ignoring its calls to shut down dangerous profiles run by scammers.
Fraud bosses at TSB said the social media giant had failed to prevent ‘blatant criminal activity’ when reported.
In April, a TSB fraud official reported to Instagram ten adverts listed on its site, which they believed were being promoted by fraudsters.
But after a month, eight of the profiles were still active and promoting the fraud. And four months later, six of the profiles posting the advertisements were still ‘rife with scam content’.
Paul Davis, director of fraud prevention at TSB, said: ‘Social media platforms are rife with fraud, not least because scams are allowed to fester online for weeks after we have reported them.
(Stock Photo) One of Britain’s largest high street banks has hit out at Instagram for ignoring its calls to shut down dangerous profiles run by scammers
‘We are disappointed that Instagram did not take swifter action to remove this blatant criminal activity and believe more should be done to prevent scam content ever being posted online.’
It comes as a Money Mail investigation revealed that 16 per cent of all crimes recorded by the police in 2022 originated on platforms owned by tech giant Meta – more than double the number of robberies, burglaries, homicides and knife crimes combined.
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That means that every day, an average of 3,000 people fall victim to a scam that can be traced to Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp. Instagram users have been increasingly targeted by scammers attempting to trick them into handing over their personal or bank details.
In June, TSB chief executive Robin Bulloch wrote to Meta calling for action as he warned that victims could lose £250 million this year to fraud originating from the tech company’s platforms.
Scams originating from Meta’s platforms accounted for 80 percent of the fraud TSB refunds within its three biggest fraud categories – purchase, investment and impersonation.
The ten adverts reported by TSB were suspected to be posted by criminals pushing illegal money laundering schemes. The scammers set up fake profiles and advertise quick cash or easy investments to Instagram users.
Online shopping scams are among the most popular deceptions, where criminals post advertisements of goods that don’t exist to trick people into sending them money.
Users of the app are also being tagged in posts congratulating them for winning a gift card or a prize for fashion brands, such as Shein. Users are told they can claim the prize by going to a copycat website which appears legitimate to answer a set of questions.
(Stock Photo) Fraud bosses at TSB said the social media giant had failed to prevent ‘blatant criminal activity’ when reported
They are then asked to fill in their details in order to claim their prize, which can include their name, address, bank details and date of birth. But once they have filled in personal information, crooks can sell on their details or use them to take out loans in their name or commit identity fraud.
Money Mail has launched a campaign calling for tech companies such as Meta to do more to protect users from the social media scams epidemic. At present, tech giants have no obligation to pay towards the cost of reimbursing victims who lose money after falling for scams originating on their platforms.
A Meta spokesman said: ‘With tens of millions of people in the UK using our apps every day, we recognise the important role we must play in tackling this industry-wide issue. We don’t want anyone to fall victim to these criminals which is why we have systems to block scams and financial services advertisers now have to be FCA authorised.
‘Our work in this hostile space is never done and we encourage anyone who spots a scam to report it in a few simple clicks.’
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