Facebook ignores requests to remove profiles used for fraud

Better Call Harry | Facebook authentication
Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 3:16 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - ANF Consumer investigator “Better Call Harry’s” cannot convince Facebook to remove a hacked profile that is being used to scam users on FB Marketplace.

Kim Pace Hinely, the user who created the profile, says she repeatedly asked Facebook to reset her password, but she gave up eight months later and created a new profile.  She wants hacked profile removed.

“I’ve had so many people contacting me saying are you selling these things? No, I’m not selling these things.  The hacker is still hacking away, and he’s doing a very good job of it, obviously.”

On May 9th, a Facebook spokesperson promised Atlanta News First that the stolen profile would be “taken down quickly,” but nearly a month later, the profile is up, and the hacker is using it to post fraudulent listings on Marketplace.

When Marketplace launched in 2016, it offered an alternative to sites like Craigslist.  The platform gave buyers, and sellers access to profiles and reduced the risk of fraudulent postings.  But scammers caught on.  They created their own profiles and are now stealing established profiles to add credibility.

The hacker who stole Hinely’s profile listed stock photos of furniture and appliances.  When a buyer expresses interest, the scammer asks for a small deposit and provides a known address for pickup.

Better Call Harry says buyers need should never use a peer-to-peer App like Venmo or Zelle to send a deposit.  If you want the item, arrange a public meeting, inspect the item, and pay in person.

Atlanta News First will continue asking Facebook to remove the stolen profile and add protective measures to safeguard Marketplace from fraud.

If there’s something you would like CBS46′s Consumer Investigator Better Call Harry to look into, fill out this submission form.