Scam victims find same fraudulent ads lurking on Facebook and Google even after flagging them up

Scam victims find same fraudulent ads lurking on Facebook and Google even after flagging them up

UK consumer watchdog Which? has found that ad giants Google and Facebook are failing to remove online scam ads even after victims report them.


A third of those reporting scam ads to Google found the same offending ads still present, while the figure was a quarter for antisocial media site Facebook.


In terms of gullibility, of those who told Which? they'd fallen victim to a malicious ad, just over a quarter were duped by something on Facebook, 19 per cent got caught through Google adverts, and a mere 3 per cent were tricked through Twitter.

The low score for Twitter gives one hope that users don't believe everything they read on the platform, although the relatively high percentage for Facebook is perhaps a little depressing.


One victim, named by Which? as "Mandy", spanked £85 on what she thought were two pairs of boots via a fake Clark's clearance sale on Facebook, only to receive a big box of sunglasses in return. "I've had a lot of back and forth with my bank over the past six months," she complained to Which? "trying to prove that I didn't receive what I ordered."


For its part, Facebook has since pulled the ad and account of the sunglasses sender.


Detailed demographics were not immediately available, and the survey (conducted over four days in February) considered 2,000 UK "nationally representative" adults. 298 reported falling victim to a scam advert. The likes of Bing and Instagram didn't get a look-in, although Which? told The Register that Facebook and Google "had the highest proportions of people saying they'd fallen victim as a result of an advert on these platforms."

Google told Which?: "W ..