Facebook cracks down on fake engagement, ad scams

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on October 21, 2020

Facebook has recently said that it had filed separate lawsuits in federal court against four individuals for providing services for fake engagement.

The lawsuits pertain to the role of these individuals in “providing services intended to artificially inflate likes and followers of Instagram accounts, a practice known as fake engagement,” Facebook said in a blog post.

The social media giant has sued Sean Heilweil and Jarrett Lusso-- from New York, and Laila Abou Trabi and Robin Abou Trabi -- from in Dubai.

Heilweil and Lusso were providing their service through a website called while the defendants based in Dubai were using the website

Boostgram is a website that increases the number of likes and followers for Instagram accounts using a network of bots to create fake engagement.

“On their website, Boostgram claimed to offer users a way to “increase Instagram exposure” – Boostgram profited from their services,” Facebook said.

“ also used a network of bots and automation software to deliver fake engagement to their customers’ Instagram accounts,” Facebook said.

The website also offered similar service for other social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other web services.

“They provide fake engagement services to both individual customers as well as other fake engagement services known as “commercial resellers” of fake engagement,” it said.

The social media major had previously sent cease and desist letters to the individuals prior to filing the lawsuit, it had said.

Facebook has been cracking down on such scams. This week, it had sent cease and desist letters to seven businesses in Asia and Europe for “defrauding online users who purchased items from their sites, based on user complaints.

Published on October 21, 2020

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