Mike Hilgers

Nebraska Attorney General

Attorney General Hilgers Joins Bipartisan Coalition Calling on Meta to Protect Users’ Accounts from Scammers

Lincoln – Attorney General Hilgers joined a bipartisan coalition of 41 attorneys general in sending a letter to Meta Platforms, Inc. (Meta) addressing the recent rise of Facebook and Instagram platform account takeovers by scammers and frauds. Account takeovers are when bad actors break into a user’s account and change passwords, effectively hijacking the account and blocking out the rightful owner. Attorney General Hilgers and the bipartisan coalition are calling on Meta to thoroughly review data security practices to protect its users’ accounts from being unfairly locked out or taken over by scammers. 
Once scammers hijack a Facebook or Instagram user’s account and change the password, they can steal personal information, read private messages, pose as the user to scam contacts, and even post publicly as the rightful user. All these actions cause undue harm and stress to account owners and their connections. While account takeovers are not a new phenomenon, there has been a dramatic increase in these schemes over the past year. As users have struggled to receive help from Meta, they have turned to their attorneys general seeking assistance and support. The Consumer Affairs Response Team in the Attorney General’s Office has received numerous reports of hacked accounts in Nebraska.
To address the account takeover crisis and provide better quality services to the millions of users who rely on Meta platforms daily, the letter from Attorney General Hilgers and the bipartisan coalition outlines a series of commonsense steps Meta should take. These include the need to increase staffing to respond to account takeover complaints and greater investment in account takeover mitigation tactics. The attorneys general also call on Meta to adopt new procedures for users to protect themselves from account takeovers, including multi-step authentication measures. Additionally, Attorney General Hilgers and the bipartisan coalition urge Meta to take this issue more seriously and take stronger enforcement actions against scammers.
Users who experience an account takeover from a scammer or bad actors are encouraged to raise this concern to Meta immediately. Users unable to get in touch with Meta or have the issue resolved can refer to the Facebook page with information on how to address an account takeover situation. 
In issuing today’s letter, Attorney General Hilgers joined with the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.