On Facebook, it is now common for so-called scam ads where fraudsters use the faces of Swedish celebrities to instill confidence. But instead of removing revealed scam ads, the tech giant lets them stay 90% of the time.
Recently reviewed TV4’s Cold facts 200 of the scam ads that are common on Facebook. According to the survey, the ads – which often contain promises of quick money through various investments – are allowed to remain nine times out of ten, despite being revealed as scams.
Felix Herngren: “People are hit incredibly hard”
It is not uncommon for fraudsters to use the names of famous Swedes to create interest and give the ads credibility. Felix Herngren and Fredrik Skavlan are two of the TV profiles who have been exposed to this very thing, something they talk about in After five.
“I feel that Facebook has to decide if they are a victim of this or if they are running a business on it,” says Skavlan. “For [annonserna] is part of the advertising on Facebook which is part of their economic model.”
Skavlan and Herngren believe that the individual ads that they report are usually removed – but that they are quickly replaced by new ads. Herngren is also critical of Facebook’s statements that they cannot filter out the scam ads with the help of AI.
“People are hit incredibly hard by this,” he says. “There are people who trust us as famous people who are cheated of their entire savings, sometimes millions of kroner. I find it incredible that [Facebook] don’t do more to stop this.”
“There was a woman who had seen an ad with me and she had put three million kroner on this. You never see that money again, and it was her savings. It was so incredibly sad.”
Jenny Strömstedt: “Gets upset”
Program host Jenny Strömstedt is another of the celebrities who appear in scam ads on the platform. She is sometimes contacted by people who want to know more about the ads, something she talks about in one clip on TV4’s website.
“Many people may be in a vulnerable situation, it’s a bleak situation in the economy right now and why wouldn’t you invest SEK 2,500 – which is the initial sum in this case – to maybe make a little more money?”, she says and continues:
“I understand that you do it, but I get upset that these ads just stay and stay. Nothing is happening!”