Facebook has announced that it has filed suit against two app developers who used malware to create fake user clicks on Facebook ads.
In an announcement earlier this month, Facebook’s Director of Platform Enforcement and Litigation, Jessica Romero detailed a lawsuit against two developers for click injection fraud, using Google Play to spread malware to users’ devices which then generated fake clicks on Facebook ads.
The two developers – Hong Kong-based LionMobi and Singapore-based JediMobi – were able to generate “unearned payouts” by tricking Facebook into believing that real users had clicked on Facebook ads. The ads ran as part of Facebook’s Audience Network.
However, LionMobi also advertised malicious apps using Facebook ads, in clear violation of the company’s Advertising Policies.
Romero explained that the discovery of the click injection fraud was “part of our continuous efforts to investigate and stop abuse by app developers and any abuse” of Facebook’s advertising products, and the ensuing “lawsuit is one of the first of its kind against this practice.” We are sure it won’t be the last, either.
Both developers have now also been banned from advertising on Audience Network, and their related accounts have been disabled. Romero also explained that those advertisers that were impacted by the click injection fraud were refunded in March 2019.
Over the last few years, Facebook has faced continued issues with its advertising platform being used for malicious purposes and is constantly trying to stay ahead of scammers and bad actors. This latest case is only one of the many being investigated for any number of violations of Facebook’s Advertising Policies.