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Social media fraud rose 43% in 2018: report

April 29, 2019 12:18 am | Updated 12:00 pm IST - San Francisco

(COMBO) This combination of file pictures created on December 20, 2016 shows logos of WhatsApp (top) and Facebook.

The EU charged Facebook on December 20, 2016 with providing "misleading" information when it sought approval for its blockbuster 19-billon USD buyout of the WhatsApp mobile messaging service. "The European Commission has sent a Statement of Objections to Facebook alleging the company provided incorrect or misleading information during the Commission's 2014 investigation" of the buyout, the EU's executive arm said in a statement. 

 / AFP PHOTO / STAN HONDA

(COMBO) This combination of file pictures created on December 20, 2016 shows logos of WhatsApp (top) and Facebook. The EU charged Facebook on December 20, 2016 with providing "misleading" information when it sought approval for its blockbuster 19-billon USD buyout of the WhatsApp mobile messaging service. "The European Commission has sent a Statement of Objections to Facebook alleging the company provided incorrect or misleading information during the Commission's 2014 investigation" of the buyout, the EU's executive arm said in a statement. / AFP PHOTO / STAN HONDA

In a sign that platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp are emerging as new public square for criminal deception, a study has found that social media fraud increased 43% in 2018.

The results suggest that cybercriminals are increasingly relying on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and other legitimate social media and messaging platforms to communicate with each other and sell stolen identities, credit card numbers and other ill-gotten gains.

Given the ease of use, absence of fees and other benefits of these platforms, continuation of this trend in 2019 should come as no surprise, said the whitepaper ‘Current State of Cybercrime — 2019’, released by RSA Security.

According to the researchers, fraud in the mobile channel has grown significantly over the past several years, with 70% of artifice originating in the mobile channel in 2018. In particular, fraud from mobile apps increased 680% between 2015 and 2018, said the study, adding that the use of rogue mobile applications to defraud consumers was on the rise.

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