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Blazing Ownager
Jun 2, 2007

I ain't got time to bleed.

OK, this is an odd one, and honestly I'm not really sure this is the right sub-forum.. because I'm not sure ANY sub-forum is the right sub-forum. But this seems like something maybe some goons would like to offer some help with, and I figured I'd post it up and hope for the best.

So long story short, the story begins with what is definitely outside of this forum, a credit card scammer. My mom got a charge listed from "FACEBK" for 17.98; when she was curious, she noticed this has been happening on and off for six months. She thought it was legitimately Facebook and set about trying to find some way to contact their billing department with absolutely no avail. However once I looked into it, several things jumped out at me, including the fact that she had let her credit card information lapse months prior to the latest charge, the odd abbreviation and most importantly, the phone number attached (which you cannot call, it rejects callers immediately): 650-543-7818.

I'm posting that because after a quick google search, this story was not an uncommon one, with reports of everything from $1 to $500 taken by the account. But what really gets me and why I'm writing this is, well, that number has been actively linked to fleecing accounts since 2010, with other reports coming in as recently as a few weeks ago. Now I'd get it if it was some out of the country number, but essentially it's a New Mexico phone number registered to a fake sounding name and they have been getting away with these charges - some idiots online insisting they must be legitimate - for going on seven years, at least.

As she's already gone to the bank fraud department, I now circle around to why I'm posting this: I'm trying to find a way to get the attention of ANYONE at facebook on the money side of things. Every single link I manage to find with their help people linking to report forms and such 404s, and every single method of contact to Facebook as a company seems to have been wiped out. I've scoured the internet for any legitimate contact information and hit nothing but brick walls.

My concern is actually seeing them do something about this and take action. For years people just either get the credit fixed for themselves (or pay it, insanely!) and then that is as far as it goes, allowing the scam to continue; it sounds like they used to pull huge whacks of money once testing the account but now pull occasional small amounts to stay hidden. God knows how many accounts they're charging. I think the only way they are going away for good is someone at Facebook to actively try to shut them down.

So that's where this post comes in with, again admittedly, a super out of place question: Does anyone know any way to talk to Facebook? There's not a single link I can find for how to report this sort of thing, just normal *gasp* cyberbullying or the like that they don't care about, really. I suspect a lot of people are still getting ripped off by this same scam and I really want to see it taken down for good, not just fixing an account for my family. Any suggestions, even an email, would be welcome.

Apologies again if this is the wrong place for this. I truly am uncertain where the right place would be and I thought if anyone had some way to actually reach someone at Facebook about a scam being conducted under their name, it'd be here.

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originalnickname
Mar 9, 2005

tree


I'm not sure this is the right forum either, since I don't think Facebook is going to go after this scammer at all, since they're not linked in any way outside of that scammer using a poor abbreviation of Facebook to obfuscate their fraud charges on credit card statements.

Are you able to get the bank to go back over the years and refund you all the money since all of these charges are clearly fraudulent?

Other than that, I guess you could call the fraud departments of all the banks you can think of to report this scammer's company and phone number, maybe they'll just blacklist the whole account...

To go back to your original question, it looks like the best way that I could find where you might be able to get any response at all is to put a post up on their community help board of all things. They seem to be more of a "gently caress you, we don't need to do customer service" company even to their advertising "partners". Maybe Twitter? Sorry I couldn't be more help, hope you get what you need, sucks when people get scammed like this.

https://www.facebook.com/business/help/community/

nielsm
Jun 1, 2009




Fallen Rib

As far as I know, it's not possible to take payments from a credit card without having a merchant account with a payment processor. Which means that someone has a merchant account with some payment processor. At the first stage, it's the responsibility of the payment processor to make sure they don't take on fraudulent customers. At some point it ends at a bank, and someone legitimate has a responsibility for shutting off illegitimate access.
You basically have to follow the trail of responsibility, although arguably someone at a bank or law enforcement should be the one doing that.

Blazing Ownager
Jun 2, 2007

I ain't got time to bleed.

nielsm posted:

As far as I know, it's not possible to take payments from a credit card without having a merchant account with a payment processor. Which means that someone has a merchant account with some payment processor. At the first stage, it's the responsibility of the payment processor to make sure they don't take on fraudulent customers. At some point it ends at a bank, and someone legitimate has a responsibility for shutting off illegitimate access.
You basically have to follow the trail of responsibility, although arguably someone at a bank or law enforcement should be the one doing that.

originalnickname posted:

I'm not sure this is the right forum either, since I don't think Facebook is going to go after this scammer at all, since they're not linked in any way outside of that scammer using a poor abbreviation of Facebook to obfuscate their fraud charges on credit card statements.

Are you able to get the bank to go back over the years and refund you all the money since all of these charges are clearly fraudulent?

Other than that, I guess you could call the fraud departments of all the banks you can think of to report this scammer's company and phone number, maybe they'll just blacklist the whole account...

To go back to your original question, it looks like the best way that I could find where you might be able to get any response at all is to put a post up on their community help board of all things. They seem to be more of a "gently caress you, we don't need to do customer service" company even to their advertising "partners". Maybe Twitter? Sorry I couldn't be more help, hope you get what you need, sucks when people get scammed like this.

https://www.facebook.com/business/help/community/


Thanks for taking the time to reply and all on this strange issue.

I really don't know what else can be done, and I do hate the fact that essentially this whole thing is going to likely get worked out for us personally after changing card numbers and such, and then continue for all the other countless people getting ripped off so the cycle can continue. I almost have respect for how brazen this whole thing is, basically ripping people off for seven years and because of the way things are, nobody can go after them.

I'll still look into a few things including calling some major banks to see if they can get blacklisted. It's crazy you can run a scam from inside of US borders like this and go absolutely unchallenged.

Blazing Ownager fucked around with this message at Apr 22, 2017 around 01:09

Zil
Jun 4, 2011



College Slice

I think there is a YOSPOS poster who posts in the Security Fuckup thread that used to or still does work for Facebook. Perhaps they have a contact they can forward the information to. Going to guess that Facebook's legal team would not be too happy about a scammer even hinting they are associated.

A Pinball Wizard
Mar 23, 2005

I know every trick, no freak's gonna beat my hands



College Slice

Write up a blog post (even if it's the only post on whatever blog you create) and spray it all over Twitter with something attention-grabbing like "Facebook allows scammer to operate for years under their name" or something. Name and shame is the only way to get companies to do anything anymore.

Alternatively/in addition, type up all your research and send it to someone like Brian Krebs who might be able to dig deeper. Either way is probably a long shot but if you can publicly document everything it might at least help someone else out in the future.

Smythe
Oct 12, 2003

no meds = f4

Grimey Drawer

Take them to the warehouse down by dock 7. my twin blades and shuriken will "pay your debts" as they say in the finance business

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Col.Kiwi
Dec 28, 2004
And the grave digger puts on the forceps...

nielsm posted:

As far as I know, it's not possible to take payments from a credit card without having a merchant account with a payment processor. Which means that someone has a merchant account with some payment processor. At the first stage, it's the responsibility of the payment processor to make sure they don't take on fraudulent customers. At some point it ends at a bank, and someone legitimate has a responsibility for shutting off illegitimate access.
You basically have to follow the trail of responsibility, although arguably someone at a bank or law enforcement should be the one doing that.
This is the best advice in the thread. Facebook is not at all responsible for some scammer using a weird abbreviation of the word "facebook" to try and sound legitimate, and they honestly can't do much about it. All facebook can do is contact law enforcement and/or the bank or payment processor that is processing the fraudulent transactions (but it won't be easy to figure out who that is) and encourage them to investigate it. But facebook can't provide much useful information when they aren't the victim whose card was charged.

The fraud department at the financial institution that issued the victims credit card is in the best position to investigate. When the victim reports the transaction as fraudulent the card issuer must go through the card network (i.e. visa, mastercard, etc) to contact the "merchant" (scammer) and request proof of authorization. The card issuer has the ability to contact the merchant/scammer through the payment card network because their customers card was actually charged by said merchant. Whereas facebook doesn't really have the means to identify or contact the merchant. But through the payment card network, the burden is on the merchant (scammer) to provide proof that it is a legit authorized charge - otherwise the card issuer would accept the victims claim that the charge is fraudulent and reverse the charge. This is just how chargebacks work whether the merchant is a scammer or not. If the merchant (scammer) does actually have proof of authorization, then maybe the victim was tricked into giving their card info and authorizing a charge that is technically legitimate: at which point the charge will probably not be reversed. Whether the victim was tricked into actually authorizing the charge or not, the merchant/scammer is probably doing something fraudulent or at least sketchy to entice people to give their card information and if enough people attempt chargebacks against them then it's going to lead to their payment processor terminating the relationship. There is basically nothing facebook can do to help this happen. If you want to actually get results the way to pursue this is through the fraud department of the victim's card issuer.


edit: to better understand how powerless facebook is, ask yourself what you would do if you worked at facebook and you got this complaint and were responsible for dealing with it. Let's assume the victim is trusting and gives you a copy of their credit card statement, you now have their credit card number, the merchant name and dollar amount that appeared on their statement, the merchant's phone number. Now what? Assuming you can sue them for something or other (I'm not a lawyer,) how do you even figure out who to sue with only that information? You don't. You aren't getting the merchant's information from the credit card company or the phone company because privacy laws won't allow it. Best thing you can do is make a police report hoping the police investigate who owns that phone number, and they probably won't bother as they never have enough manpower to actually investigate all reports and you have no way to prove to the police that the charge is fraudulent in the first place. What if the charge is actually from Fred's Awesome Carpentry Experience: Brooklyn (or F.A.C.E.BK for short.) Or some stupid thing like that. The information facebook would be able to provide to the police wouldn't even prove that any crime is being committed. Rather than spend significant manpower investigating, the police would suggest that facebook advise the victim to contact their credit card issuers fraud department. Because the police would know that the credit card issuer can go through the card network (visa for example) to quickly figure out who the merchant (scammer?) that charged the card is, and that the card network has a process for investigating allegedly-fraudulent charges and the ability to make a police report with real details if they discover a merchant behaving fraudulently. Whereas if the police want to figure out who owns that phone number, they are going to need to go to the phone company with a warrant that they probably don't have enough evidence to even get.

Col.Kiwi fucked around with this message at Apr 28, 2017 around 00:37

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