Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) called on Facebook to target “romance scams,” saying that women had been fooled into thinking that they were talking to him through the social media platform.
What’s the story?
In a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, dated Wednesday, Kinzinger wrote:
My staff and I find various accounts posing as me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Hangouts, or other platforms. These fake accounts are often found because the scammer has reached out to their new followers with direct messages. We are able to report these fraudulent accounts quickly, all things considered, but that may not be the case for others—many unsuspecting victims would not even think to search for their image on Google or other social media platforms as my staff does routinely.
Kinzinger added, “I mention these incidents not because I am seeking pity or special accommodation from Facebook, but because there are so many Americans that do not have the time or resources to confront these issues the way I have been able to.”
He elaborated further to the New York Times, explaining that he had been contacted by multiple women who wrongly believed that he had previously been conversing with them on Facebook. Kinzinger got engaged in late June to Sofia Boza-Holman, the director of strategic media for Vice President Mike Pence.
Kinzinger asked Facebook to “provide answers no later than August 14, 2019” to a number of questions, including how many Facebook employees were assigned “to address safety and security?” how many fake profiles there currently are on the platform? and what actions it would take to “detect and police attempts to defraud” Facebook users?