FYI

Facebook files suits against Singapore and HK-based app developers for ad fraud

In a post on Facebook’s Newsroom, the social network’s director for platform enforcement and litigation Jessica Romero stated that it had filed a suit against app developers JediMobi from Singapore and the Hong Kong-based LionMobi for “click injection fraud”.

The fraud involved infecting user’s phones with malware which in turn generated fake user clicks on ads on Facebook. The apps used for the fraud are believed to be Power Clean from LionMobi and Calculator Plus from JediMobi. Facebook said that it had refunded all impacted advertisers.

The announcement:

Today, Facebook filed suit against two app developers for click injection fraud. The developers made apps available on the Google Play store to infect their users’ phones with malware. The malware created fake user clicks on Facebook ads that appeared on the users’ phones, giving the impression that the users had clicked on the ads.

The two developers are LionMobi, based in Hong Kong, and JediMobi, based in Singapore. LionMobi and JediMobi generated unearned payouts from Facebook for misrepresenting that a real person had clicked on the ads. The ads were part of Facebook’s Audience Network. LionMobi also advertised its malicious apps on Facebook, in violation of our Advertising Policies.

Our lawsuit is one of the first of its kind against this practice.

Facebook detected this fraud as part of our continuous efforts to investigate and stop abuse by app developers and any abuse of our advertising products. LionMobi and JediMobi have been banned from Audience Network and their accounts have been disabled. All impacted advertisers were refunded by Facebook in March 2019.

Source: Facebook Newsroom press release

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