Facebook last week announced that it has filed a lawsuit in federal court in California against Basant Gajjar. Facebook says Basant Gajjar, under the name LeadCloak, violated Facebook Terms and Policies by providing cloaking software and services designed to circumvent automated ad review systems, and ultimately run deceptive ads on Facebook and Instagram.
Gajjar is an Indian citizen, living in Bangkok, Thailand. Facebook has disabled personal and ad accounts on Facebook and Instagram from the accounts that used the cloaking software, so Basant Gajjar Instagram account is not available anymore.
According to Facebook, the cloaking software is a malicious technique that impairs ad review systems by concealing the nature of the website linked to an ad. When ads are cloaked, a company’s ad review system may see a website showing an innocuous product such as a sweater, but a user will see a different website, promoting deceptive products and services which, in many cases, are not allowed.
Leadcloak’s software was used to conceal websites featuring scams related to COVID-19, cryptocurrency, pharmaceuticals, diet pills, and fake news pages, said Faceboo in a press release. Facebook says other companies were affected, like Google, Oath, WordPress, and Shopify.
It’s not the first time Facebook moves actions into the courts. In August, last year, Facebook filed lawsuits against alleged ad fraudsters in Facebook’s Audience Network.