Facebook accounts hacked to defraud

Quebecers have had their Facebook accounts hacked by fraudsters who use their profile to scam buyers on the popular online sales platform Marketplace.

Once they have taken control of a Facebook profile, fraudsters use it, among other things, to sell shipping containers that will never be delivered.

Container prices have increased during the pandemic. On Marketplace, this merchandise is sometimes displayed at two-thirds or half of the real price, says Éric Mervicini, sales representative of SEA Containers The bargains are a good indicator of a scam, he specifies to the team of J, whose show will air tonight.

Eric Mervicini

Photo taken from Facebook Marketplace

Several testimonials

The team tracked down five people who claim to have been victims of social media identity theft. This is the case of Stéphane St-Georges, a songwriter from Saint-Hyacinthe.

Our team first met him since he was selling containers. However, it was not he who had published the announcement.

“I realized that because I was no longer able to fit in [mon profil]. I am no longer able to do anything. I complained to Facebook. »

The Facebook profile of a woman from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu was also hacked. He posted a picture of a container for sale for $4,800 on Marketplace.

The person behind the account was requesting an Interac transfer deposit to reserve the property. However, the photo and the container belong to the Conteneurs SEA company, which confirms that it has no connection with the profile.

millions every day

Facebook defends itself by claiming that millions of fake accounts are blocked every day.

“We deal with fake accounts more efficiently thanks to artificial intelligence,” writes an adviser from the Tact agency on behalf of the social network.

The Sûreté du Québec confirms that complaints for scams via Facebook Marketplace are on the rise. Since 2021, just under 20% of reported fraud cases have resulted in arrests.

His address used without his knowledge

The address of a woman from Quebec was usurped to open a shipping container company, which advertised merchandise on Facebook Marketplace.

On the MCZ Containers website, it is still indicated that the head office is located in Quebec. It is actually Nancy’s home in the Neufchâtel district.

Nancy agreed to talk about her story asking that her last name not be published.

“In May 2022, we received a letter from the Government of Quebec […]. We thought that was weird. Two days later, a person came for a friend of his who had ordered a container. He had paid $2,000. »

They knock on his door

Buyers showed up at his home, looking for containers. She had to tell them she had nothing to do with the company. A few months ago, she even wondered: “Someone who is really shocked by the situation will he become aggressive? »

Fortunately, Nancy hasn’t been visited by buyers since we met her at the beginning of the summer.

The Quebec police did not want to take his complaint, she says.

“All information related to these cases is collected and linked together leading to more expansive operations,” wrote David Pelletier, of the Quebec police.

The authorities referred her to the RCMP Anti-Fraud Centre, which only collects information.

The registration of MCZ Conteneurs has been canceled at the Registraire des entreprises. The company did not respond to our calls.

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