A Bipartisan Coalition of 41 Attorneys General Call On Meta To Protect Users’ Accounts From Scammers

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FILE - The Meta logo is seen at the Vivatech show in Paris, France, June 14, 2023. Attorneys for Meta Platforms and several of its current and former leaders, including founder Mark Zuckerberg, are asking a Delaware judge to dismiss a shareholder lawsuit alleging the company has deliberately failed to protect users of its social media platforms from human trafficking and child sexual exploitation. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

For Release: March 6, 2024

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) sent a letter to Meta Platforms, Inc. (Meta) on behalf of a bipartisan coalition of 41 attorneys general that addresses the recent rise of Facebook and Instagram platform account takeovers by scammers and frauds. Account takeovers are when bad actors break into a user’s account and change passwords, effectively hijacking the account and blocking out the rightful owner.

The bipartisan letter, authored by the Attorneys General of Florida, Illinois, New York, and Tennessee, calls on Meta to thoroughly review data security practices for protecting its users’ accounts from being unfairly locked out or taken over by scammers.

Once scammers hijack a Facebook or Instagram user’s account and change the password, they can steal personal information, read private messages, pose as the user to scam contacts, and even post publicly as the rightful user. All these actions cause undue harm and stress to account owners and their connections. While account takeovers are not a new phenomenon, there has been a dramatic increase in these schemes over the past year. As users have struggled to receive help from Meta, they have turned to their attorneys general seeking assistance and support.

To address the account takeover crisis and provide better quality services to the millions of users who rely on Meta platforms daily, the letter from the bipartisan coalition outlines a series of commonsense steps Meta should take. These include the need to increase staffing to respond to account takeover complaints and greater investment in account takeover mitigation tactics. The attorneys general also call on Meta to adopt new procedures for users to protect themselves from account takeovers including multi-step authentication measures. Additionally, the bipartisan coalition of attorneys general urges Meta to take this issue more seriously and take stronger enforcement actions against scammers.

Users who experience an account takeover from a scammer or bad actors are encouraged to raise this concern to Meta immediately. Users unable to get in touch with Meta or have the issue resolved can refer to the Facebook page with information on how to address an account takeover situation.

The following states joined this letter:

AL, AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, HI, IL, IA, KY, LA, MD, MA, MI, MN, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY

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The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) is the nonpartisan national forum for America’s attorneys general and their staff. NAAG provides a community for members to collaboratively address issues important to their work and resources to support attorneys general in protecting the rule of law and the United States Constitution.

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