Adscend Media LLC, a marketing firm connected to several Clickjacking schemes (also known as Likejacking), has agreed to pay attorney fees and stop spamming Facebook. The agreement was announced on Monday by the Washington State Attorney General’s office.
Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna sued Adscend earlier this year, after a rash of scams on Facebook led to users being tricked into sharing personal information and signing up for subscription services.
Adscend operates the affiliate network behind many of these Clickjacking scams. They are alleged to have made more than a million dollars a month with their affiliate program (based on CPA or Cost per Action), but they dispute this amount.
No matter what the profit, the issue was that the program itself was leading to a serious amount of wall spam on the social media portal, and people were being duped into releasing information they might have otherwise not intended to share. In several cases, Ascend was fully aware of the tactics used by their affiliates.
Most of the schemes centered on attention grabbing videos or images, such as “[VIDEO] OMG! See what happened to his Ex Girlfriend!”
However, before being able to view the content, a series of required steps lured Facebook users into eventually visiting commercial websites. Other tactics included tricking Facebook users into clicking the “like” button, inadvertently spreading the spam to friends.
As part of the settlement with the Attorney General, Ascend will pay $100,000 in fees.
In addition, the company will maintain a monitoring program, including random, daily analyses of what their affiliates are doing. If affiliates are found to have deceptive “gateway” pages that trick Facebook users, Adscend must delete the advertisements and send a warning to the affiliate.
A copy of the complaint can be found here.
Last week, Facebook dropped a separate lawsuit against Ascend in light of this settlement.