Facebook Messenger Users Hit by Scammers in Over 80 Countries: Report

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Group-IB, a global threat hunting and adversary-centric cyber intelligence company have detected a large-scale scam campaign targeting Facebook Messenger users all over the world.

Group-IB Digital Risk Protection (DRP) analysts have found evidence proving that users in over 80 countries in Europe, Asia, the MEA region, North and South America might have been affected, the company said in a release. “By distributing ads promoting an allegedly updated version of Facebook Messenger, cybercriminals harvested users” login credentials,” the company said.

The cyber intelligence company has discovered about 1,000 fake Facebook accounts distributing links to an allegedly updated version of Facebook Messenger. Users who followed the link would then be redirected to a fake Facebook Messenger website with a login form, through which cyber criminals harvested users’ credentials.

According to the intelligence company, scammers used official Facebook logos and shortened link names that resembled the real ones. Group-IB said that the social media giant itself has nothing to do with the scheme.

The scale of the scam has grown substantially over the past several months, the company noted. As of April, investigative team found 5,600 Facebook posts inviting users to install the fake “latest Messenger update,” Sputnik reported.

Group-IB’s DRP analysts have found scam advertisements targeted at users in at least 84 countries worldwide, including Canada, the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Singapore, Malaysia, and South Africa.

Users who fell victim to this scheme risk leaking their personal data and have their account hijacked, the company said.

“Scammers, in turn, are likely to use the compromised account to either blackmail the victim, pushing them to pay a ransom to have access to their account restored, or further scale up the scheme using the Facebook profile to distribute scam ads,” the release said. 


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