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Facebook Copyright Violation Scam on the Rise, Warns Security Researcher

Hackers are devising news ways to steal data and gain access to financial details.

Published
Tech and Auto
3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>If you are popular on Facebook, chances are that you have received a copyright complaint, asking you to 'repair' your account.</p></div>
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Scammers have found a new way to hack into your account and steal your financial details.

Cyber security researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia, who unravelled the scam, told The Quint that if you are popular on Facebook, chances are that you have received a copyright complaint, asking you to 'repair' your account.

He alleges that threat actors are sending out fake copyright complaint notifications to Facebook users with malicious links that can harm computers and mobile devices.
<div class="paragraphs"><p>The message reads that Facebook's user page has received complaints and has been reported by other users about lying or fraud. </p></div>

The message reads that Facebook's user page has received complaints and has been reported by other users about lying or fraud.

Photo: Accessed by The Quint/ Rajshekhar Rajaharia)

“Beware! Hackers are targeting almost all politicians, celebrities, media and famous Facebook accounts globally. You may receive a fake copyright complaint notification on FB. Don't click on the link. It's a Malware/Ransomware," Rajaharia warns.

Unearthing the Scam

Threat actors are distributing specially crafted fraudulent pages named 'Copyright Constraints Page 2021' and tagging parliamentarians, ministers, along with other government representatives.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>In this screenshot, politicians including Jagdambika Pal, Joginder Pal Bhoa, filmmaker Mira Nair, IPS officer Ajay Pal Lamba and several other verified accounts have been tagged.</p></div>

In this screenshot, politicians including Jagdambika Pal, Joginder Pal Bhoa, filmmaker Mira Nair, IPS officer Ajay Pal Lamba and several other verified accounts have been tagged.

(Photo: Accessed by The Quint/ Rajshekhar Rajaharia)

Rajaharia said,"Hackers are using using phishing/malicious links to target verified pages. This is an old trick to hack pages, but now hackers are targeting pages with huge followers and very high reach.”

Jaipur Additional Commissioner of Police, Ajay Pal Lamba confirmed to PTI that he received notification from the page and he did not click on it as it was from an unverified page.

"I noticed that the message is fake as it claimed to be coming from Facebook Security Team and was seeking verification by clicking on a link. I saw the page was tagging only verified accounts. I would request everyone who has received this kind of notification should refrain from clicking on the link in the notification, which prima facie looks malicious," Lamba said.

Why is This Alarming?

In today’s era of digital identity, there has never been a riskier time for a celebrity’s privacy and reputation.

Earlier, in January, on Instagram, several celebrities, including Urmila Matondkar, Asha Bhosle and Amisha Patel, received a message on their Instagram accounts where the sender, usually a verified ID titled ‘Help Center’, claims he/she is associated with the ‘Instagram/Copyright infringement Center’.

The message reads, “Hello Instagram user, we have received many complaints about your account for a long time. We wanted to inform you about this. Before you delete your account, some of the posts you posted are against our community guidelines. If you think the copyright infringement statement is false, you must provide feedback. Otherwise, your account will be permanently deleted from the platform within 72 hours.”

"Such cases only show that copyright violation scams will soon become a trend and every social media platform will witness growth of such phishing pages"
Rajshekhar Rajahaira, cyber security researcher
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What Do Fraudsters Gain?

If the linked is clicked, Rajaharia says that either you will lose complete access to your account or if your page is monetised you will lose all the money your Facebook page has earned via Facebook's monetisation programmes.

Here's what Fraudsters can do after gaining access to your account:

  • Fraudsters can sell your personal details on the darknet for a high price

  • These accounts can also be sold at a high price, as they are verified

  • Some fraudsters can also ask money from others on their friends list

How to Stay Safe?

The only way to avoid falling victim to such scams is to be aware about it. If you see any message from Facebook asking you to click on links citing copyright infringement, delete the message and do not respond to it.

Rajaharia told The Quint that Facebook does not tag you in a post to respond to a copyright violation. You will get an e-mail from the Facebook team, if it is a legit copyright violation.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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