Revolut warns that Meta platforms are a ‘hotbed’ for scams

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Revolut scam data for 2023 has revealed that the majority of all its reported crime cases in the UK started on Meta platforms.

The fintech’s report found that 60% of all of its reported UK scam cases originated from just three sources, Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp, which are all owned by the technology conglomerate.

In addition, Revolut reported that 33% of the total value of all money lost to scams began on Meta platforms.

Speaking at a Home Affairs Select Committee on fraud, Woody Malouf, Group Head of Financial Crime at Revolut, said: “It has become increasingly clear that Meta platforms are being used as a hotbed for scams.

“Our data not only shows that scams are being facilitated through social media platforms, but that investment scams in particular are resulting in life changing sums of money being stolen.”

The aforementioned findings increased throughout the year, rising from 52% of all reported cases in the UK in the first half of 2023, to 66% toward the end of December that year.

In terms of Revolut, the firm has invested heavily in building defences against cyber fraud and says that it saved its customers more than £200m in potentially fraudulent transactions in 2022 alone.

Malouf added: “We are fully determined to protect our customers as best we can through our fraud prevention technologies, but there is no denying that this is an issue that also needs to be tackled at source to have any hope of being beaten.”

Meta was also highlighted as a problem during the committee by other banks in attendance.

Paul Davis, Financial Crime Prevention Director at TSB Bank, told the committee: “Eighty percent of scams that we deal with originate from social media, and when I say social media, the majority of them start from the channels owned by one company in particular, which is Meta.

However, Meta has stated that it is aware of the issues raised. Philip Milton, Head of Public Policy at Meta, told the committee that the company takes fraud prevention “extremely seriously”.

Explaining that the company has adopted preventative measures such as verifying ads on its platforms and permitting only financial ads that have cleared the UK Financial Services Verification process.

Milton added: “A good indicator of fraud is fake accounts, as scammers generally tend to use fake accounts to carry out scams. As fraud prevention, Meta removed 827 million fake accounts in the third quarter of 2023.”

During the time frame of these scams, the tech company was developing an artificial intelligence (AI) system.

Following the hearing, the FCA said that it issued 2,286 warnings last year alerting consumers about firms and individuals operating without its authorisation, which is a 21% increase from 1,882 in 2022.