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Facebook files 'first of its kind' lawsuit against ad fraud

07 Aug 2019  |  Michaela Jefferson 
Facebook files 'first of its kind' lawsuit against ad fraud

Facebook has filed a lawsuit against two app developers for "click injection" fraud after using malware to fake the number of clicks on mobile Facebook ads.

The social media giant claims that both Hong Kong-based LionMobi and Singapore-based JediMobi infected users' phones with the malware via apps available on the Google Play Store.

"LionMobi and JediMobi generated unearned payouts from Facebook for misrepresenting that a real person had clicked on the ads," Facebook's director of platform enforcement and litigation, Jessica Romero, wrote in a blog post.

"The ads were part of Facebook’s Audience Network. LionMobi also advertised its malicious apps on Facebook, in violation of our advertising policies."

The lawsuit is "one of the first of its kind" against this practice, she added.

Since detecting the fraud, Facebook has banned LionMobi and JediMobi from the Audience Network and disabled their accounts.

According to Romero, all impacted advertisers were refunded in March.

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