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Facebook accused of “doing nothing” over Taylor Swift hacking ticket scam  | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


Facebook is facing backlash for “doing nothing” about a scam around Taylor Swift tickets.

READ MORE: Taylor Swift: – ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ review: a rare misstep

Recent weeks have seen many Facebook users fall victim to a scam, in which accounts are hacked and hijacked to sell fake tickets to her upcoming ‘Eras Tour’ shows.

Now, after many have come forward and revealed that they and their friends have lost hundreds of pounds because of the scam, Facebook is being accused of “doing nothing” to protect users and respond to those who have been affected.

The increasing popularity of the hacks comes in the run-up to the pop star’s huge ‘Eras Tour’ coming over the pond later this week, and performing a series of UK shows throughout June and August with support from Paramore.

Just last month, Lloyds Bank reported that Swifties in the country have lost around £1million in online ticket scams recently, and around 90 per cent of which were said to have originated on Facebook (via BBC News).

Speaking to the outlet, various fans affected by the issue outlined how either themselves or people they knew had lost money due to accounts being hacked, and messaging them saying that they had tickets for sale.

Taylor Swift performs on stage during a concert as part of her Eras World Tour in Sydney on February 23, 2024. CREDIT: DAVID GRAY/AFP via Getty Images

One of which was a fan in Worcester called Kerry Plant, who revealed that her account had been hacked and led to two of her friends losing over £300 each. She also said that she emailed Facebook about 15 times to report the hack and data breach, but never heard back.

“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.”

Another affected was a fan called Zhenya Winter, who had her account hacked and claimed that the hackers seemingly used artificial intelligence to mimic her writing style to have people fall for the hack.

She also stated that she tried to contact the social media platform multiple times, but was left “furious” by the lack of response. “It’s hugely frustrating. Even when I knew this was happening, I was absolutely defenceless to do anything apart from to communicate via WhatsApp or whatever to my mates,” she told BBC.

“Apart from that, I’m absolutely powerless. I don’t particularly want to use Facebook ever again.”

She also highlighted that those behind the scam asked for payments to be sent to accounts with “challenger banks” like Revolut and Monzo, which are more susceptible to fraud.

Taylor Swift performs on stage during a concert as part of her Eras World Tour in Sydney on February 23, 2024.
Taylor Swift performs on stage during a concert as part of her Eras World Tour in Sydney on February 23, 2024. CREDIT: DAVID GRAY/AFP via Getty Images

At time of writing, both Winter’s and Plant’s Facebook accounts have been taken down by the platform, although they both accuse the company of taking far too long to respond.

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

Others have gotten in touch with the platform to report a similar issue, but have still not heard back. Glasgow resident Karen Elrick, for instance, told BBC last month that three of her friends had lost around £750 each due to hackers hijacking her account. Despite reaching out multiple times since December, she stated she has not heard back and her account – which she had no control over – is still active.

“If Facebook does not respond to reports of accounts being hijacked by scammers, this is completely unacceptable,” said consumer organisation Which? about the reports.

“This is exactly the type of failing that Ofcom should be prepared to take strong action against using the Online Safety Act, including potentially issuing fines. The regulator must also hold platforms to a high standard to prevent these scams from happening in the first place.”

Facebook has also gone on to say that it is investigating more accounts that have been hacked, and “are continually investing in protections against fraud on our platforms and work closely with law enforcement to tackle this issue”.

In other Taylor Swift news, it was reported earlier today (May 8) that a new documentary is on the way, which will detail the famous feud between Taylor Swift and Scooter Braun over the singer-songwriter’s masters dispute.

Elsewhere, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder and bassist Jeff Ament recently shared their thoughts on the ‘Midnights’ star, and praised her as being “incredibly prolific”.

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