FACEBOOK USED TO DEFRAUD TAYLOR SWIFT FANS OF £1M IN TICKET SCAM

LONDON. — Facebook users whose accounts were hacked and hijacked to sell fake Taylor Swift tickets have criticised the platform for not doing more to stop the scammers.

Some said friends had lost hundreds of pounds after responding to scam posts offering tickets to Swift’s UK tour dates, and that Facebook did not respond to multiple attempts to report the hacks.

Kerry Plant, from Worcester, said: “Had they reacted to this a little bit sooner, then we could have prevented quite a bit of this.”

Facebook said it takes “the safety and security of our community seriously” and is “continually investing in protections against fraud”.

There has been huge demand for tickets to see the pop superstar’s Eras tour, which reached Europe when she played in Paris yesterday before UK dates in June and August.

Last month, Lloyds Bank estimated that British fans had lost £1m in ticket scams, 90 percent of which were said to have started on Facebook.

Ms Plant said two Facebook friends had lost more than £300 each after being duped by posts advertising tickets on her feed after her account was hacked.

She said she tried Facebook’s suggested steps to report a hack, as well as emailing the company about 15 times, reporting a data breach and trying to contact them on other social media platforms. 

Friends also reported her account and the fake posts, she said.

“It’s upset me quite a bit that I’ve not been able to stop this happening, and that Facebook hadn’t responded to me, despite quite a lot of effort,” she said.

“We even found (Facebook chief executive) Mark Zuckerberg’s email and emailed him, but a couple of days later I got an email back saying, ‘You don’t have permission to email this person’.

“So lots of hours have been spent trying to rectify it. But I feel like they’re obviously such a big company that they just don’t care about this sort of stuff.”

Other people almost fell for the scam, but contacted Ms Plant directly to check before handing over any money.

She said she resorted to contacting all of her other friends separately to warn them.

“I think the worst thing is you can’t do anything about it. They’re such a big organisation that you’re pretty powerless really,” Ms Plant added.

The company removed her account last week after being contacted by the BBC. — BBC.

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