Adverts Inc. Shut Down, However The Instruments It Used To Rip-off Fb Customers Out Of Hundreds of thousands Have Lived On
In the fall of 2019, Facebook sent a letter of resignation to Ads Inc., a San Diego-based advertising company that bought $ 50 million from Facebook ads that used images of celebrities without their permission to trick people into signing up for a hard-earned ban every month.
Ads Inc. responded by dismissing co-workers and ending work, saying it was “prohibiting 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 the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.
Until it was closed in April, ezlp.io, a site owned by Ads Inc. has already ruled, maintains pages promoting fraud, including fake cryptocurrency businesses that have damaged economists in more than 50 countries. It is unknown who is in control of ezlp.io. The Facebook accounts that the company used to post ads are still active. 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. is still a working company, but sources told BuzzFeed News that the company sold or lost any of its assets – including some of its borrowed Facebook accounts -. 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 an email 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 are defamatory on Facebook – they are not good for the public, they undermine our credibility and undermine our business,” Rob Leathern, Facebook’s chief marketing officer, told BuzzFeed News. “In the face of this, we work not only to find and oppose advertisements, but also to ban advertisers from our services, and in some cases, to take them to court.
Ads Inc. shows how Facebook fails to eradicate fraud.
In July, Finnish player Jasper Pääkkönen discovered that his picture was 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 the fraud has taken place in a very strange way,” Salla replied in Messenger, apologizing. “The amount of fraud is so high that it’s impossible to see it with people.”
Before closing, Ads Inc. earned more than $ 1 million from commissions by promoting the sale of magic products that lured people into spending money.
“I have nothing to live for,” said Maj-Britt, a 67-year-old homeless Swedish woman who lost all her money and sold her home in exchange for money back in the same cryptocurrency fraud. (He asked not to divulge his full name in order to protect his privacy.)
The victims were shocked by a Facebook ad that falsely claimed that celebrities had made money using a cryptocurrency marketing program with names like Bitcoin Revolution and Bitcoin Code. People were asked to pass by to post their comments. These are sent to a call center that is tracked by the phone within minutes to request a refund. Instead, the program does not exist and their benefit is mirage.
Earlier this year, Dagens Nyheter, OCCRP, and their media colleagues published an investigation by the Fraud Factory, which entered a crypto-currency call in Ukraine operated by graphics company Milton Group. Following the news, a source close to law enforcement 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, sharing a web-based URL, ezlp.io, which has thousands of pages in several languages that use images of well-known people to promote crypto currency offerings. advertised that Ads Inc. would send people to confirm their submission of their information.
The company did not attempt to conceal its owners. The landing page had an insertion page 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 newsletters.
That business seemed profitable. Ads Inc. began promoting crypto currency trading in the second quarter of 2019. A video presentation at the July 2019 corporate conference 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 wishes of former Ads Inc. employees. 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 interviews took place in October.