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Tech Giants Take a Stand – Fighting Fraud at Every Turn

June 1, 2018

The internet has finally come to a point where there’s so much fraudulent activity, it’s nearly impossible to determine what’s real and what’s not. It’s become such a problem for social media and search engines alike that tech giants around the globe are all in agreeance on one thing: the scams need to stop.

Here we’ll check out at the most recent online movement against fraud, scams, and trolling, and see what various online contributors are doing to control it. You might be surprised to learn how serious some site owners are taking these changes and what it means for businesses and online marketing in the future.


Fraud in Social Media

Twitter took a stand against fraudulent activity recently in a bid to remove some of the posts wrought with trolling, a form of internet bullying which includes posting false information to trick others. To cut back on this type of activity, Twitter began following more closely pages which were being flagged or complained about, and making these pages and comments less visible to others.

The next in the line of tech superstars to embrace the need for a cleaner atmosphere was Facebook. Already facing flack for its latest privacy leak debacle, Facebook has some work to do to prove itself to users once again. After a huge drop in the stock market following whistleblowing regarding privacy leaks, Facebook has taken a stand against fraud, specifically that revolving around finance. The company has said that they’ve noticed a lot more scams involving offers for money popping up among authentic ads on the site. To reduce these nuisances from disturbing users, Facebook has created a set of code which involved rigorous example taking in the tens of thousands. Now, this code can trace out images and text which is real vs. images and text which are fraudulent.

Unfortunately, some social media frontrunners, like Instagram, have yet to get a handle on their fraud problems, particularly those involving fake accounts. Instagram has thousands of accounts registered to users who don’t exist, or who are suffering from identity theft. The problem with this, of course, is that these users are accessing data of other users by following their accounts. This means real Instagram users with authentic accounts are opening themselves up to fake accounts which are accessing photos, video clips, and in some cases, the personal information of others. Users have begun taking a notice and a stand against the problem, calling on social media giant, Instagram, to make a change.


Search Engine Scam News

While social media is certainly one area of the internet where scams and fraud run rampant, it isn’t the only place you’ll find it. Google has had to crack down on scams as well and have begun developing their own set of tools to help them do the job. Google has recently fallen prey to some identity theft themselves, with unauthorized individuals pretending to be the renowned search engine to lay claim to small businesses hoping to rank higher in local search. The fakers make false claims regarding better ranks as well as possible penalties businesses may face if they don’t make changes.

Google has laid charges to some culprits of this type of fraudulent activity, but to no avail; now they’re developing their own tactics, including calling out some of those who are causing them headaches. Google recently pointed fingers at Kydia Inc., Point Break Media, LLC, Beyond Menu, and Supreme Marketing Group, Inc., among others through their official blog. They’ve also stepped up their bot game, creating automated methods of seeking out and pinpointing those who are going against policies created by the search engine.

Another way Google is improving scam activity on the site is by offering small businesses more resources to avoid these fraudsters. By educating small businesses on the resources offered through Google, the company hopes to help them avoid future run-ins with third parties claiming to be the search engine giant. They have also put new tools in place to allow these small businesses to more easily report violators and contact Google when they’re confused about the identity of an entity claiming to be Google.

Some of the education put in place to help small businesses differentiate fakers from the real thing is to ask for proof from potential fraudsters that they are indeed affiliated with Google, to ignore calls from automated services claiming to be Google – as Google would call in person, not through a robot if calls were necessary – and to use the “Do Not Call” registry to remove themselves from telemarketer contact lists.


Court Action

The current litigation undertakings, if proven successful, could be a game changer for much of this online fraud activity. Individuals faking the identity of the search engine giant may be forced to pay big for their indiscretions. The hope is that it will divert further attempts to swindle small business owners and decrease the likelihood of fraud in the future. Perhaps this is the beginning of an anti-fraud movement across the board, and other tech leaders will follow with their own legal action. Only time will tell whether these tactics will be successful; one thing is certain, Google certainly holds an advantage over these small-time scammers, and will set a precedent for the global internet community in their efforts to decrease spam and spammers.

So far, the most recent changes to social media and search engines in terms of anti-scamming regulations have been met with a positive reaction. Most online users are happy to see that bad online behavior is not going unpunished.