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Spammy Facebook invites for ‘Ray-Ban charity sales’

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If you search “Ray-Ban event” on Facebook, a flood of posts comes up. They all contain roughly the same language, although their posters live everywhere from Bangalore to Tecumseh, Okla.

Aug. 13, 2:12 p.m.: “FYI I did not send out invites to some Ray ban charity event.”

Aug. 13, 2:48 p.m.: “If I invited you to a Ray-Ban event, please ignore it.”

Aug. 13, 3:28 p.m.: “I did not create this event.”

Aug. 13, 4:31 p.m.: “If you were invited to like a Ray Ban Charity event by me, DO NOT ACCEPT!”

You’ve probably seen these posts, even if you haven’t posted one yourself. They’re the remains of this summer’s big viral scam — a pestilence of invites to fake Ray-Ban events.

The scam is simple, explained Lukas Stefanko, a malware analyst for the security firm ESET: People set up fake Ray-Ban Web stores, and then promote those stores through Facebook events advertising discounts on behalf of unnamed “charities.”

Ray-Ban makes a good hook, since the brand is popular, globally known and inexpensive relative to other luxury goods. And Facebook events, shared by hacked or malware-compromised accounts, make an excellent promotion vehicle. People love their sunglasses and trust their friends, so many click into the promoted Web store and order when they wouldn’t have otherwise. They never actually get any Ray-Bans, of course, and their credit card may be compromised.

Stefanko says the racket has been in full force since April, and it shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, it appears the scam hasn’t yet reached its peak — despite Facebook and Ray-Ban’s best attempts to wipe it out.

According to Luxottica, the multinational company that owns the eyewear brand, more than 16,500 Facebook-related Ray-Ban scams have been shut down since the beginning of the year.

“There are sophisticated operators behind this, registering thousands of domains,” said Justin Gaudio, an intellectual property lawyer with the firm Greer Burns & Crain and one of the people tasked with getting fake Ray-Ban stores off the Web. “It’s a coordinated effort. There’s no doubt about it…….”

Full Story: Why you’re suddenly getting all those spammy Facebook invites for ‘Ray-Ban charity sales’ – The Washington Post