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Facebook, Washington state sue alleged ad scammer

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#1 TheSentinel


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Posted 29 January 2012 - 07:40 PM

Facebook, Washington state sue alleged ad scammer
Facebook and the Washington attorney general allege Adscend Media scams Facebook users
By Nancy Gohring
January 26, 2012 02:58 PM ET

IDG News Service - Washington's attorney general announced two new lawsuits against Adscend Media, a company that allegedly earns $20 million a year using a Facebook scam.

It was a complicated scam that Facebook has blocked, executives from the company said during a press conference in Seattle. Facebook users would see a link to a provocative video recommended by a friend on Facebook. A user would click on the video link and see a pop-up that might ask the user to verify that he or she is over age 13. By clicking on the verification box, the user would unknowingly share the video on his or her Facebook page.

After clicking the box, another pop-up would appear taking the user to an advertiser site that might ask the person to supply personal information or purchase an item like a phone ringtone.

"Every time a user links to one of these advertiser sites, Adscend is paid a commission by the advertiser," said Paula Selis, assistant attorney general in Washington.

The attorneys said that advertisers didn't necessarily know that Adscend was using these methods to drive traffic to their advertisements. The advertiser might be a large company working with a number of online advertising companies like Adscend, paying them for the traffic they generate to their ads, said Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna. "What happens is an advertiser doesn't know every place the ads are being placed," he said.