Meta Sues Two Nigerians Who Lured Facebook Users to Phishing Sites

Facebook parent company Meta this week announced it has taken legal action against two Nigerians for their alleged roles in financial scams targeting Facebook and Instagram users.

Between March 2020 and October 2021, the social media giant says, the two individuals – Arafat Eniola Arowokoko and Arowokoko Afeez Opeyemi – lured Facebook and Instagram users to phishing websites in an attempt to harvest credentials and compromise their financial services accounts.

To make sure they can perform the nefarious activities unhindered, the defendants employed a network of more than 800 fake Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Meta says it has already taken several enforcement actions against the two individuals, by disabling accounts they used on Facebook and Instagram, by blocking the phishing domains on its platforms, and by sending them cease and desist letters.

[READ: Facebook Sues Ukrainian for Scraping, Selling Data of 178 Million Users]

Now, the company and financial services provider Chime Financial – one of the firms that Arowokoko and Opeyemi impersonated as part of their schemes – filed a joint lawsuit against the two, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

The companies allege violations of the social platform’s Terms and Policies and brand infringement, and seek to permanently ban the defendants from Facebook and Instagram, while also claiming millions of dollars in statutory damages.

“Online impersonation is prohibited across Meta technologies, and we’ll continue to take action to protect the people who use our technologies. Cross-industry collaboration is critical to disrupting this abuse and to Meta’s broader efforts to combat online impersonation,” Meta says.

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Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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