Facebook does little to rid the site from romance scammers

With Facebook admitting that there are 270 million profiles that are fakes or clones, it doesn’t seem that Facebook wants to take them down. In November 2017 Facebook execs pledged to the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee that they would take down the fakes.

Colin Stretch Facebook’s general counsel stated that FB was hiring 20,000 reviewers and using artificial intelligence to help spot these scammers on their platform.

Hundreds of profiles are reported daily and Facebook’s review team seems to be on coffee break and  AI doesn’t seem to be working.  Endless fake after fake gets cleared and FB states they don’t violate their community standards.  It seems that if the name (fake or not) matches the profile that was registered in it gets cleared. If there is interaction on the wall the profile is cleared. But my question is “why isn’t FB looking beyond the superficial? It’s not too hard to do. Let’s take a look at two profiles David Bob Martin and Anderson L. Gran.

David Bob Martin

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100022584906546

Anderson L. Gran

https://www.facebook.com/anderson.l.gran/likes?lst=100010147597420%3A100010276151843%3A1524956641

See anything familiar between the two profiles? They are pictures of the same man. And the reverse image search site tineye states the photos have shown up on scammer websites.  I always search the groups and likes of the profiles as that can reveal more about the profile. Look at the photos posted. If a profile has little to no photos it is another sign that the profile is a fake.  And as an aside, both profiles expose pictures of innocent children as well.

Then there are the fake profiles that steal pictures of well known people like this one.

Dragan Sutanovac

A friend of mine received a friend request from Dragan Sutanovac.  His profile stated that he is a General for the US Army stationed in Afghanistan. How romantic to be contacted by a lonely soldier fighting for peace in this world of ours.  Problem is Dragan Sutanovac is the current leader of the Serbian Democratic Party and former Minister of Defence of Serbia.  I really don’t think he is now living in Afghanistan and working for the Americans. There are actually 30 profiles under the name Dragon Sutanovac or variations thereof. And many of them are fakes too.

dragan

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100014070134907

The hilarious thing about this profile is truly what a mess it is and Facebook doesn’t remove it.  Take a look at the other profile pictures:

Doesn’t really resemble the U.S. Army General in the first photo does it?  All of the comments are in Vietnamese or Cambodian and a favourite TV show is Cambodian Idol.  Always take a look through all the posts on the wall as well as any likes and groups the individual may belong to. They are often telling.

Facebook does not provide many options for reporting profiles. If you report a profile you get only a few options to state why you’ve reported it.  Here are the first two screens you get when reporting,

Screen 1 – click on Report this Profile

anderson report

Screen 2

anderson fake

If you merely click on “This is a fake profile” it seems to get less traction from Facebook than if you click on “They’re using a different name than they use in everyday life.”  So although Facebook made promises to the Senate Intelligence Committe they have done little to rid the platform of these menacing criminals lurking on the site.  Complaints to Facebook fall into a black hole and you really wonder how anything is assessed within the platform. If they rely on users to police the site and report unusual behaviour where is Mark Zukerberg’s committment to get rid of these fake profiles?

One of my friends is head of Risk Management for a Bank in Rhode Island and she told me the overwhelming majority of losses to banking clients are online romance scams. Most victims are middle aged women and while men can be scammed as well the majority of victims are female.  And the tough part of warning anyone to these types of scams is that they totally believe the scammer is legit and in love. But the only thing they love is the thought of your money.  Could there be a point of culpibility for Facebook or other online platforms in some of these scams?

The FBI reported in 2016 that 15,000 instances of romance scams were reported with losses of 230 million.  They actually estimate that true losses are much higher with only 15 percent of victims reporting the scam.  Many of these scams are run by international crime groups with several of them based out of Nigeria.  Interpol states that some of the proceeds from these scams have gone on to fund terrorist groups such as Boko Haram.

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5 Ways to tell if a LinkedIn Request is Fake

I received a connection request from Nathan Philippe yesterday. I always take a cursory look at any profile that wants to connect. The nature of LinkedIn is that we connect with some people we don’t know so taking the time to check out the profile is important with every request. I know so many people whose only criteria for vetting a potential connection is to see how many connections they have in common. But this is not enough.

So let`s take a look at this profile

nathan philippe linked in

  1. Take a look at how many connections the individual has. In this case when “Nathan” sent the request he had 22 connections.  That is red flag #1 to take a closer look at a profile.  It the sender is a young professional then it makes sense they may be new to LinkedIn and building their network. It is more unusual for an established professional to be joining.
  2. Take a look at where they are from and where they work.  In this case “Nathan” stated he worked for Liberty Bank in Fredericton.  Being Canadian myself I knew there was no such bank.  But for the sake of due diligence, I searched to make sure my hunch was correct.  Second of all when I clicked on the Liberty Bank Logo he placed in his profile, it linked to Liberty Bank in Tblisi, Georgia….a bit of a distance from Fredericton
  3. Take a look at their education. “Nathan” wrote that he attended the University of New Brunswick and received a BA of Law and then put LLB by his name.  A BA in Law does not earn you the LLB and the University of New Brunswick does not offer law degrees.
  4. With the previous red flags I decided to run a reverse image search of his profile picture on tineye.  The search came back noting that the photo was listed on a scammer site.

nathan tin eye5. Go with your gut. If a profile looks iffy to you then it might be.  It’s better not to connect at all then connect with someone who will mine your information and that of your connections.

 

Nejolla consults and teaches seminars in the area of Social Media Risk. Her website is http://www.interveritas.com

Delta Airlines fails to use Social Media to help passengers.

On August 8, 2016 Delta airlines experienced a system outage. It resulted in several hundred flights cancelled on that day and thousands delayed worldwide.

I first heard about the outage at 7 am MST when my son phoned me to tell me about it. He and his wife were travelling on August 8, for their long awaited honeymoon.  He said he heard that Delta flights were affected and people should check their reservations and flight status before heading out to the airport. When he looked at his reservation online, there were no indications of any problems with any of the flights.  He put in a call to Delta and the automated message told him that hold times were anywhere between 4 and 4.5 hours long.  He knew that my higher elite status might yield a quicker call back time so he asked that I put in a call.  When I called Delta the wait time was an hour and a half to one hour and fifty five minutes long.  I input my phone number and waited.

While I was waiting for the callback, I looked at Delta’s twitter feed to see what updated information I might find.  It was already 10:30 eastern time and the last tweet from Delta News Hub was almost two hours earlier at 8:40.

delta 2

I checked the reservation on delta.com and all information showed that flights were still operating on time. Actually, at that point, all flights departing Charlotte NC airport were operating on time according to the Delta website.  It was only when I went to look at the Charlotte airport website that I saw how many departing Delta flights were either cancelled or delayed.  My son’s flight was scheduled to leave at 3:30 pm for Atlanta to connect with an international flight to Amsterdam.   I knew that at this point that they would never make the international connection if they waited for their scheduled flight and only showed up at the airport in the afternoon.  I told them to get to the airport as soon as possible and be ready to board any flight that was actually moving.

An hour and thirty seven minutes later I received the call back from Delta.  I asked them what flights were still operating from Charlotte to Atlanta and they moved the reservation to flight #2251 that was scheduled to depart at 11:55 am and was now delayed until 2:12 pm.  Many of the earlier departing flights had been cancelled.  When they got to the airport at least 200 people were in line for agents to deal with their travel issues.  The agent informed my son that there was one more flight that was scheduled to leave Charlotte, flight #2609 that was scheduled to depart at 8:44 that morning was now supposed to fly at 2:00 pm and they got boarding passes for that one.  They boarded the aircraft just before 3 pm. The aircraft backed away from the gate and sat on the tarmac for 45 minutes. The pilot was great in informing passengers of the delay but eventually pulled back to the gate because Atlanta issued a ground stop, not once but twice since they were sitting on the plane.  Eventually that plane took off at 5:23 pm and got into Atlanta at 6:06 pm.

For several hours if passengers checked their flight status on the delta.com website or the delta app, neither showed that the flights were cancelled. Cancellations showed up if you searched the arrival and departure information of certain airports.  Some flight tracking sites  like www.flightaware.com and www.flightstats.com showed updated departure times (some with 6 hour departure delays) hours before the Delta website did.

Delta’s Unhelpful Cancellation Announcements

At  8:00 a.m. Delta News Hub started posting that 300 flights were cancelled and by 1:30 the number was up to 451. It’s great to give this update but let’s help people out a little by letting them know quickly and easily what flights were cancelled. As the day wore on, more and more flights were cancelled and travelers stranded without much help.  Lines at the airports were long, waiting for call backs was endless and the Delta website did not give accurate information.  That’s a problem.

Delta had every opportunity to use their Delta News Hub website to have a running list of cancelled flights making it easier for customers to get instant information. This was a huge missed opportunity. Actually when you look at the News Hub site, it looks like it is tailored for shareholders of the company and not the passenger. It is simply an old fashioned crank out the news platform…not designed to be interactive or helpful.

Delta.com

Delta did not use their website to their advantage at all. Where was the alert or warning right on the home page of the website? Nowhere did Delta.com advise the passengers of the outage and its effect on flights.

Social Media can help or hinder

One of the greatest tools any corporation has in times of crisis is social media.  It’s a fast way to get the message out to thousands of customers in real time.  It is the go to tool that customers use to get up to the minute information.

Here’s one example of the blunders we found on Delta News Hub

FullSizeRender (14)

Great! until you clicked on the link and found this:

delta not authorized

What? Not authorized?

Social Media Blunder Rule #1

Never deny access to information you have advertised on public posts/tweets.

This type of blunder on a high crisis travel day just stresses passengers out even more. Social media could have been used to an advantage but wasn’t. Who was tweeting, posting and commenting for Delta Airlines?

Who’s in charge of the message?

In June of this year Delta hired Moxie USA (www.moxieusa.com) as their social media agency. Only a few weeks into the relationship and the social media strategy has failed considerably.

“Moxie is a recognized expert in the social space,” said Julieta McCurry, Director, Marketing Communications at Delta. “As we continue to grow, it’s critical that we create meaningful and relevant experiences for our customers across the channels they increasingly rely on the most.”

Kristina Jonathan, EVP of Strategy at Moxie, commented, “Social plays an always-on and central role in Delta’s business — connecting customer service, brand relevance and flight reservations 24/7. We are absolutely thrilled to partner with the Delta team to design and employ sophisticated storytelling across the largest shared spaces on the web.”

So many of these agencies promise the moon but fail on delivery when a crisis presents itself. Why? Because most of them aren’t equipped to handle it. In this case it seems that Delta itself had no clear cut strategy for crisis although they should have.  So those people tweeting, posting and commenting on behalf of the company had to wait for some sort of corporate approval before each tweet or post was sent. Well prepared corporations plan for crisis and carry out drills to be prepared for the real event.

Another problem is that those who are handling the crisis on the inside really have no idea what the customer is experiencing on the outside.  The lack of returned calls, the 200 person long line ups at the airport, no idea when things will get back to normal and the sense of loss knowing that they will miss important events like a parents 50th wedding anniversary or honeymoons unnerve people. These stories are all over twitter and Facebook.

What are you doing to make this easier for your customer?

That’s the bottom line in any messaging during a crisis. No one wants to see a corporate video that looks it is made to appease the shareholders.They don’t want to see posts that offer no solutions and they don’t want to see information links that tell a customer they aren’t authorized to view the page.  They want to see solutions.  Is the website now showing updated and real flight cancellations?  Have you put more staff on the phones to try and make the wait time shorter? Tell us. Tell us what you are doing to help us.

delta passenger stranded.PNG

“This isn’t who we are”

Delta CEO Ed Bastian was featured in two videos about the outage; the first an apology and update from the operation center and the second, a confusing message stating “this isn’t who we are”.

Social media begs that leadership of organizations show the human touch to communications online today. Take for example the tweets of Air Asia CEO Tony Fernandes after the Air Crash QZ8501

tony-fernandes tweets

These were personal and created a connection with anyone reading them. There was no question that he cared about everyone affected.  It’s the difference between a personal message and a corporate one.  It doesn’t seem that Ed Bastian has a twitter account…maybe he should.

Delta stated it wanted to “create meaningful and relevant experiences for our customers across the channels they increasingly rely on the most.” In this case I think they missed their mark.

Before I go

Lastly I do want to acknowledge how amazing Delta airport staff and flight crews were during this crisis. The pressure on the front lines is enormous.  Also big thank you needs to go out to staff from United and Frontier Airlines in Charlotte Douglas International Airport who stepped in to help Delta staff with Delta passengers.

By the way 48 hours later and my son still didn’t get a call back from Delta.

Nejolla Korris is a speaker and consults and teaches classes on social media risk and other security topics. If you are interested in Nejolla as a speaker or for more information, visit Nejolla’s website at www.interveritas.com.   She is also a very frequent flyer on Delta airlines and usually loves their customer service.

 

 

 

 

10 reasons Jim Prentice lost Alberta

The KORRISpondent

In the past few months we have all witnessed the macabre twist of fate dealt to the PC Party in Alberta. To me, it seemed like we lived in a Putinesque state where a cavalier disregard for the electorate loomed daily. A leader, one that the regular Albertan didn’t know, but was told we should follow emerged with a platform that seemed out of place for the Party followers as much as it did for regular Albertans. Bizarre and undemocratic antics prevailed and I wondered if anyone else found them odd and unacceptable.

After the resignation of Alison Redford, Albertan PC’s looked forward to a new leadership election and a fresh start after the debacles of Redford’s reign. It was known that she was not a team player, so her rapid rise to the top spot of the Party was questioned by many…though I do remember how many non-PC individuals…

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