In the fall of 2019, Facebook sent a counter-notification letter to Ads Inc., a San Diego advertising company that bought $ 50 million on Facebook ads who use photos of celebrities without their permission to trick people into signing up for complex subscriptions each month.
Ads Inc. responded by removing co-workers and ending its operations, saying it was “banning the activities of Ads Inc. and its partners.”
But Facebook has not been able to remove the company’s remnants from the platform, according to a BuzzFeed News survey and an international press conference led by Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.
Until it closes in April, ezlp.io, a site owned by Ads Inc. has already ruled, it maintains pages that promote fraud, including cryptocurrency fraud people who have lost money in more than 50 countries. It is not known who is in charge of ezlp.io. The Facebook accounts that the company used to post ads are very useful. Those accounts were transferred to a new, unknown owner earlier this year, according to those familiar with the project.
Company records in California and Puerto Rico show that Ads Inc. still a working company, but sources told BuzzFeed News that the company sold or lost whatever it might be – plus some rent Facebook accounts – and has been asleep since last fall. Ads Inc. was founded by Asher Burke, who died in a helicopter crash in Kenya in March 2019. The company now owns its own, owned by Brad Burke, Asher’s father. Brad Burke did not respond to emails or messages sent via Facebook and email to his wife and daughter.
Facebook has promised to remove such ads remotely.
“We do not want advertisements that defame Facebook – it is not good for the people, it undermines our credibility and destroys our business, “Rob Leathern, Facebook’s chief marketing officer, told BuzzFeed News. but we prohibit advertisers from our services and, in some cases, take them to court. While there is no good work, we continue to explore new technologies and ways to prevent these and the people who follow them. ”
Continuation of Ads Inc. archeology shows how Facebook fails to eradicate fraud.
In July, Finnish player Jasper Pääkkönen found his picture being used in an advertisement in which an unknown person was pushing to steal crypto currency. Angered, she wrote to the EU’s chief executive on Facebook, Aura Salla, to complain.
“So far we have come to realize that fraud has taken place in a very strange way,” Salla replied on Messenger, apologizing. “The amount of fraud is so high that it’s impossible to see it with people.”
Before closing, Ads Inc. received more than $ 1 million from commissions for the promotion of occult practices that lured people into spending money.
“There’s nothing I can live for,” He said Maj-Britt, a 67-year-old homeless woman in Sweden who lost all her money and sold her home to make ends meet The cryptocurrency financial fraud. (He asked not to divulge his full name to protect his privacy.)
Victims were shocked by Facebook ads claiming that celebrities made money using a cryptocurrency self-promotion program with names like Bitcoin Revolution and Bitcoin Code. People were asked to pass by to record their details. These are sent to the following call centers within minutes to request payment. Instead, the program does not exist and their benefit is mirage.
Earlier this year, Dagens Nyheter, OCCRP, and their fellow journalists published Hypocritical Search, which went inside a crypto casino in Ukraine operated by a graphics company called Milton Group. Following the news, a source close to the law contacted Dagens Nyheter.
“I saw a picture taken from [one of] the celeb ads you used to compare one of your articles. This ad was created by Ads Inc., “he wrote, and shared the online website, ezlp.io, which has thousands of pages in several languages that use images of well-known people to promote cryptocurrencies. These were the pages that advertised which Ads Inc. sent to the public for confirmation to provide their information.
The company did not attempt to conceal its owners. The landing page had an insertion tag that read “Welcome to Ads Inc.” More confirmed in BuzzFeed News by Ads Inc.
OCCRP found about 15,000 pages on ezlp.io promoting at least 17 different advertisements in 11 languages. Some of these have been publicly warned by regulators in at least eight countries, since 2018. Relationships between Ads Inc., its potential buyers, and Milton Group is unknown, but a number of crypto Deals available on ezlp.io have also been listed in Milton Group’s correspondence.
That business seemed profitable. Ads Inc. began promoting crypto currency trading in the second quarter of 2019. A video presentation at a corporate conference in July 2019 listed “crypto” as one of the company’s “most successful celebrations,” making $ 1.15 million in committee sales for that quarter. The report said crypto brought a 120% return on investment, making it the most profitable for the company and most important for the next quarter.
Whether or not the page was left in the hands of Ads Inc. when the company started doing business it is not clear. But it was updated with the latest news until it got dark on April 25 – six months after Ads Inc. he said it stopped working.
An internal Facebook interview released by BuzzFeed News reveals that the company continues to adhere to the former members of Ads Inc. It is not clear if anything happened.
“My team is currently investigating former employees to understand the company’s performance,” wrote a critical Facebook researcher at the Workplace, in which the company’s discussions took place in October.