Warren Brown cartoon. Mark Zuckerberg is co-founder and CEO of the social-networking website Facebook which has banned news content in Australia.
Warren Brown cartoon. Mark Zuckerberg is co-founder and CEO of the social-networking website Facebook which has banned news content in Australia.

Why Facebook is so hard to contact when there is a problem

Guess what organisation was mentioned the second most number of times associated with scams reported to IDCARE last month?

I'll give you a clue. Only a few weeks ago, this organisation had unfriended news sites across the country, including this one.

I'm talking about Facebook. And Facebook didn't only remove News Corp's content from its platform.

Our charity also had the details on its page deleted.

But that's not why I'm angry with Facebook.

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I'm angry because every single day I am seeing people contact our National Case Management Centre because they have been involved in some kind of incident concerning the social media site.

It may be like the Melbourne business owner I spoke to earlier this month who had his account cloned before Christmas and scammers were stealing money using his name and his photos of his family, including his young child.

Or, it may be like the clairvoyant I spoke to earlier this week who didn't see it coming when a scammer managed to access her business page and block her out from liaising directly with her more than 100,000 followers.

Or, it may be the elderly gentleman I spoke to today (at the time of writing) because he received a Facebook message from his friend sharing a link on Mel Gibson's money-making investment opportunity and he believed it.

Facebook is over-represented in scams in Australia. After telcos (who took the gong out as being mentioned the most by IDCARE clients in connection with scams).

Facebook is the word that comes up again and again and again.

Telcos you can understand, because they are what people associate with internet access and telephones.

But unlike telcos, Facebook has (so far) appeared to be unwilling to provide direct customer service and access to a support service like IDCARE for those who have experienced an issue.

The Melbourne business owner said he contacted Facebook "over a hundred times" to report the page "but nothing was happening".

It was only when IDCARE contacted Facebook on his issue that the page was finally removed.

This was the statement Facebook provided in response to this: "We do not allow scams on our services and we take action to remove them as soon as we become aware".

We reached out to Facebook before Christmas requesting they help us help the thousands of clients who contact us with problems experienced through their site.

To their credit, they did send us a fact sheet on what to do if scam activity was suspected, which we shared on our website.

But this hasn't stopped the scams from taking place.

When you consider that Facebook is making multi-millions from harvesting your data and selling you to advertisers, surely it is time it took some responsibility for helping you when you have an issue.

Sorry Facebook. The turd emoji doesn't adequately express the level of service you are providing to scam victims.

Kathy Sundstrom is a former Sunshine Coast Daily journalist who now works at identity and cyber support service IDCARE.


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