Facebook Tuesday filed two separate lawsuits in federal court against four individuals for fake engagement, or providing services that are intended to artificially boost likes and followers on Instagram.
In one suit, the company accused defendants Sean Heilweil and Jarrett Lusso of New York of providing those services via Boostgram, which used a network of bots to automate the delivery of likes and followers of Instagram accounts.
And in the second suit, Laila Abou Trabi and Robin Abou Trabi of Dubai were accused of using a network of bots and automation software to deliver fake engagement to the Instagram accounts of Instant-Fans.com customers.
Instant-Fans.com offered similar services for Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube and other platforms.
The social network also disabled the accounts of and sent cease-and-desist letters to seven company based in Asia and Europe that were defrauding online users who purchased items from their sites.
Romero explained, “Each of the companies used Facebook and Instagram to post ads for consumer products. When someone clicked the link in the ad to buy a product, the user was redirected to a third-party website to complete their purchase. After paying for the item, the user either never received the item or received an item that is different than the item described in the ad. In all cases, people were unable to return items or obtain a refund.”