Facebook is being flooded with fake ads that are actually malware

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A new report from Check Point has uncovered the extent of fake ads plaguing social media platforms, particularly Facebook, in order to spread malware.

The company found evidence of scammers creating fake pages pretending to be top artificial intelligence (AI) companies in a move that sees them capitalizing on the growing appetite for the technology.

According to the firm, popular AI apps like ChatGPT, Bard, Midjourney, and Jasper are all being impersonated in the hope that cybercriminals can get their hands on sensitive personal information.

These Facebook ads about AI are fake

Illegitimate ads have been seen to be supposedly offering new and exclusive services, special content, and other attractive offerings that are only accessible via a route that leads victims into downloading malware.

Typically, users will find themselves clicking on a link to access the promised content, which downloads malware designed to steal credentials, crypto wallets, and any other manner of personal information.

Many of the screenshots shared by Check Point suggest that users can get access to exclusive and premium content by following the ads, which of course isn’t true. Instead, users are being urged to pay close attention to the URL whenever they are redirected to another site, or more simply, to access the desired page or company via a trusted domain.

In terms of the social media pages, high interaction rates see many of the fake accounts amassing thousands, or even millions, of likes. Such a high volume of interactions may not be flagged during a user’s superficial and basic checks.

More broadly, Check Point has highlighted the growing number of cases where infostealers are being spread in an era of high data value.

As well as checking URLs, domains, and email addresses - rather than trusting the display name which can be manipulated to appear legitimate - users are being reminded not to download unnecessary software, and to do so only via a trusted source.

A company spokesperson directed us to a blog post about account security and another about online threats when we asked for more information about how Meta is protecting users.

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!