Scammers Move In: Facebook Getting Sketchy

from the movin'-on dept

While it was definitely interesting to look at the reasons why Facebook was able to crush MySpace in the social networking world, it's also true that there are more and more questions about the sustainability of Facebook. We recently wrote about the claims of a potential toolbar scammer being one of Facebook's top advertisers, and while Facebook denies the company has ever advertised with them, others claim they're still seeing those very ads. Either way, a new research report suggests that scammers are increasingly targeting Facebook -- with some level of success. It appears this may quickly become Facebook's next big challenge. Historically, Facebook was more immune from scams and spam due to its private nature. However, as the company has continually pulled back on privacy and pushed people to open up more, it's also allowed in all sorts of openings for spam and scams.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Larry W., Jan 24th, 2011 @ 5:00am

    grammar

    "Scammers" is the plural. "Scammer's" means belonging to the scammer. (sorry, bad grammar before finishing my first cup of coffee bothers me...especially on a mainstream blog such as techdirt).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Mike Hillard (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 5:25am

    Perhaps the scammers posses "move ins" that are within facebook

     

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  3.  
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    derek, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 5:29am

    Re:

    Then it should be Scammers'

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Richard (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 5:30am

    Re: grammar

    and scammers' means belonging to the scammers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 5:33am

    Re: grammar

    Or perhaps TD meant: "A scammer's move in." As in the moving in of a scammer.

     

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  6.  
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    anais nin, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 5:40am

    comment

    i like omeletes

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 5:45am

    Re: comment

    Nicely said!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    FormerAC (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 5:54am

    The Race to the bottom

    As with anything that becomes huge and popular, the lowest common denominator will determine its end point. Unfortunately, far too many people are too stupid for their own good and will click on applications and surveys just to see a story.

    If you had a brain, you realized a year ago that any Facebook link that starts with take this quick survey to see that story is a scam.

     

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  9.  
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    Shon Gale (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 6:05am

    Everybody gets older and graduates college (or not) and even though we signed up, we don't go there and we don't use it. Bye Bye. I just get annoyed and feel spammed anymore because all I get are join your whole family. Treading on dangerous ground there. I tend to react negatively whenever someone wants to mess with my family, my alarms go off. You stay away from my family Facebook or we will take care of you and send cousin Guido by to visit. You remember Guido, my little friend.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Howard the Duck, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 6:07am

    Re: The Race to the bottom

    True. When will the masses catch on?

     

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  11.  
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    johnjac (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 6:08am

    Facebook quote from the article

    Facebook said "If your spam filter catches all the spam, does it matter if your filter caught 10 percent more,"

    What does this mean? They are trying 110%? Or is the extra 10% false positives.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    johnjac (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 6:10am

    The Companies Worth Less Than Facebook

    From http://larrycheng.com/2011/01/12/the-companies-worth-less-than-facebook/

    EMC – $47.2B
    Bristol-Myers Squibb – $45.1B
    France Telecom – $42.5B
    Target – $42.5B
    BMW – $42.4B
    Grainger – $42.3B
    Nike – $41.6B
    Morgan Stanley – $41.4B
    Dow Chemical – $39.9B
    UnitedHealth Group – $39.4B
    News Corp – $39.2B
    Colgate-Palmolive – $39.1B
    Eli Lillly – $38.9B
    Nokia – $38.0B
    AIG – $37.3B
    Halliburton -$36.7B
    VMWare – $36.6B
    BlackRock – $36.3B
    Walgreen – $36.1B

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 6:10am

    Now real scammers and criminals are seating on the board of entertainment companies.

    Looking at you Edgar Bronfman Jr(ex-Vivendi’s former vice-chairman and current chief executive of Warner Music) and Jean-Marie Messier(ex-Vivendi's, Now head of Messier Maris et Associés) and Guillaume Hannezo(ex-Vivendi’s finance director).

    I just couldn't resist to put this out there.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 6:12am

    Re: The Companies Worth Less Than Facebook

    I don't know where people get those values. Facebook is nowhere near a billion dollar in revenues, this looks like a fantasy world is just bizarre.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    fogbugzd (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 6:18am

    Does anyone actually like Facebook?

    It seems to me that very few people actually like Facebook. We love having a place where we can communicate with friends, but we hate Facebook itself. The phenomenon speaks to the power of building a community. People keep coming back to the Facebook community even though the Facebook company makes everyone angry on a regular basis.

     

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  16.  
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    FormerAC (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 6:21am

    Re: Re: The Race to the bottom

    They won't.

    I use Facebook to keep in touch and connect with people. I turned off 3rd applications and I haven't noticed anything missing.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 6:21am

    Re: Does anyone actually like Facebook?

    I stopped using social networks like Facebook, first because I like my privacy and they don't let you log in without scripts on and second forums in websites are much more fun.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 6:58am

    hahaha, you have no problems if you don't use this "the facebook" you speak of.

     

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  19.  
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    peopleagainsttheft (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 7:11am

    i realize that Techdirt hates rules . . . but doesn't the idea of scammers hurting facebook help people understand the role of property? If everyone hates facebook, that's one thing, but if Facebook is hurt because someone is hurting users in their name, shouldn't Facebook be allowed to sue them? Shouldn't government step in and stop the criminals? This is damaging to everyone but the scammer.

     

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  20.  
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    FarSide (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 7:35am

    Re:

    Not sure what your property angle is - or your angle in general.

    If, as you said, "Facebook is hurt because someone is hurting users in their name" then that is called "fraud" and there are plenty of laws and legal recourse to such behavior.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 7:43am

    Re: Re: The Companies Worth Less Than Facebook

    "Facebook is nowhere near a billion dollar in revenues"

    ~$4 USD per year, per user, with 700 million users this time next year. Do the math.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 7:50am

    Re: Re: The Companies Worth Less Than Facebook

    Totally agree.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 7:52am

    Re: Re: Re: The Companies Worth Less Than Facebook

    Where did you get 4 USD per year per user? What do 700 million users spend $4 on every year on facebook? Where did you get this data, out of curiosity..

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 8:09am

    Re: Re:

    What would you say if people stop using facebook to avoid the scammers? Was there not loss as a result? Would the valuation of facebook drop if they were suddenly only the number 10 or number 20 site online?

    Facebook is a prime target because the system makes thing move organically and without check, similar in nature to spam mail without having to keep sending it, because the victims send it on for you.

     

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  25.  
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    teka (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 8:11am

    I think the great scammer interest kicked up to a higher gear when everyone and everything started having facebook accounts.

    Denture cream, discount stores, eggs, bandaids and even ketchup. Facebook pages all around, and TV spots with a little "follow us on facebook and twitter" tag shoved in the end.

    Marketers are trying to be "hip" or whatever the kids say today, and this might be encouraging a somewhat less computer savvy group of people to use these sites. Not that we are talking about fools, its just that without experience it is easier to fall into the "allow this mystery application to access your facebook to watch this video" or "Sign in to Cutecatvideo.ru.scam.trap with Facebook!" traps.

    And where there is an increase in prey, there is an increase in lowest-level predators. Like the way spam became the criminal money making engine it sorta is After more people started having email accounts and home computers.

    And like email, we will start to see more actions on the part of the service providers to screen these attacks, filter them out of our consciousness.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 8:18am

    Re: Re: Re: The Companies Worth Less Than Facebook

    I just read that is 500 million users, aside from that I also want to know where the $4 bucks came from since their greatest source of revenue is ad's apparently(2 billion in 2010 apparently), now tell me where the 50 billion dollars came from?

    Oh that is right Wall Street from the same people who gave the world the best years in the last decade.

     

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  27.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 8:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The Companies Worth Less Than Facebook

    It from facebook, revenue divided by the average number of users per year.

    Facebook statistics

    Revenue projections 2011

     

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  28.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 8:47am

    The 4 USD per user per year comes from dividing the AVERAGE number of users for the year by the total revenue for the year. Last year that worked out to be ~4 USD.

    This year (2011) facebook will average out 550-575 million users with about 2 billion in revenue. Again thats about 4 USD per user, per year.

    Their growth will begin to slowing sometime between the end of 2011 to mid 2012. It will reach some percentage of the people online, and future growth will be based on the number of people coming online.

    I hope that explains where the number came from, and where Facebook is going.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The Companies Worth Less Than Facebook

    The 4 USD per user per year comes from dividing the AVERAGE number of users for the year by the total revenue for the year. Last year that worked out to be ~4 USD.

    This year (2011) facebook will average out 550-575 million users with about 2 billion in revenue. Again thats about 4 USD per user, per year.

    Their growth will begin to slowing sometime between the end of 2011 to mid 2012. It will reach some percentage of the people online, and future growth will be based on the number of people coming online.

    I hope that explains where the number came from, and where Facebook is going.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
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    chris (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 8:55am

    Re: Does anyone actually like Facebook?

    The phenomenon speaks to the power of building a community. People keep coming back to the Facebook community even though the Facebook company makes everyone angry on a regular basis.

    it's like a new form of class struggle:
    Basically, it is between community and platform. Facebook allows you to create a dashboard of your friends and to share links, chit-chat, etc. Of course Facebook does not do that out of the goodness of its heart, it is a profit maximisation company. What they say is: “I make the platform, you use it and in exchange I will sell your eyeballs to advertisers and I know so much about you that I can compete with traditional advertising”. If you are Facebook, [and] if you do not enable and empower sharing and cooperation nobody is coming; at the same time, if you do not protect some aspects of this platform that you can sell as a scarcity... that is not going to work either. You always have to find a balance between the sharing/empowering part and the control part...This is the tension that we have today, this is ‘class struggle 3.0’, between user communities and platform owners, between value creators and value realizers.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re: Re:

    bottom line facebook is a business, it will have to adapt or go down.

     

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  32.  
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    Overcast (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 9:24am

    I'd be more apt to really use it for more, if the privacy was tight enough, but it's not - so I don't.

     

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  33.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 9:58am

    Re: grammar

    "Scammers" is the plural. "Scammer's" means belonging to the scammer. (sorry, bad grammar before finishing my first cup of coffee bothers me...especially on a mainstream blog such as techdirt).

    Yeah. Bad job on my part. Fixed. Not sure how that got through.

    Thanks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 10:08am

    Re:

    i realize that Techdirt hates rules . . .

    Huh? Not true at all. What gives you that idea?

    but doesn't the idea of scammers hurting facebook help people understand the role of property? If everyone hates facebook, that's one thing, but if Facebook is hurt because someone is hurting users in their name, shouldn't Facebook be allowed to sue them?

    Sure. I'm all for laws that prevent fraud. Why do you think otherwise?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 10:17am

    Re: grammar

    Must bum you out to have a few mistakes in your own correction then?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 11:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Companies Worth Less Than Facebook

    Thank you, but that figure doesn't explain how it is worth $50 billion dollars with a revenue stream of 2 billion, with maybe another billion in the bank.

    That value can't be real.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
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    Chargone (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 11:45am

    Re: Facebook quote from the article

    or the quantity of spam increased by 10% and the filter still caught it all.

     

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  38.  
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    Chargone (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Companies Worth Less Than Facebook

    plus whatever assets it may have, plus several years to pay itself off ....

    50 billion still seems too much, especially given how horribly short sighted investors and share holders seem to be about profits (looking in from the outside)

    10 would be believable (pays for itself in five years if you bought it) and i suppose there's a bit of wiggle room for the possibility of finding other ways to make money of it....

    but yeah, i mostly think it's bogus valuing based on not having a damn clue....

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    ChimpBush McHitlerBurton, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 12:03pm

    Re: grammar

    DOUCHE-NOZZLE! (Before my first cup of coffee, no less)

    CBMHB

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    BBT, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 6:27am

    Re: Does anyone actually like Facebook?

    I actually have a full range of possible opinions on things between love and hate, so I don't struggle with this issue. I like Facebook, it does a lot of things very well. There are some things I dislike about Facebook. This does not mean I "hate" Facebook.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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