AG Josh Stein On Meta Data Breach

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein and 40 other bipartisan attorneys general today called on Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, to thoroughly review their data security practices after a rise in scammers taking over and locking users out of their accounts. From 2022 to 2023, the North Carolina Department of Justice saw a 330 percent increase in complaints related to these account takeovers.

“Meta has encouraged its users to share more and more information and live more of their lives on Facebook and Instagram, but it hasn’t done enough to protect that information,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “The company needs to do more, now, to safeguard people’s accounts and data.”

Once scammers hijack a Facebook or Instagram user’s account and change the password, they can steal personal information, read private messages, pose as the user to scam contacts, and even post publicly as the rightful user. Scammers might also get access to credit card information, location data, photos, and business and bank information. The Department of Justice received 552 complaints in 2023 and 115 complaints in the first two months of 2024. Since 2019, North Carolinians have claimed more than $5.8 million in related losses. If your account has been hacked or taken over, contact Facebook and Instagram. You can also file a complaint with the Department of Justice at

Attorney General Stein is asking Meta to take immediate action and invest more resources to prevent account takeovers, including multi-step authentic measures. The attorneys general point out that the increase in complaints to the states happened around the same time that Meta laid off around 11,000 employees who reported focused on security, privacy, and integrity.

Attorney General Stein is also asking Meta for more information related to account takeovers, including:

  • the number of account takeovers over the past five years.
  • suspected causes of the increase in account takeovers.
  • safeguards currently in place to prevent account takeovers.
  • current policies and procedures in response to account takeovers.
  • Staffing to safeguard the platforms against account takeovers.

In October, Attorney General Stein and 41 other bipartisan attorneys general sued Meta, which owns Instagram and Facebook, for allegedly designing their social media platforms to hook children and teenagers and deceiving the public by claiming that these platforms were safe and suitable for young users.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Stein and a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general are also continuing to investigate TikTok for similarly promoting its platform to young people without regard for their health and well-being. That investigation remains ongoing.

Attorney General Stein is joined in sending this letter by the Attorneys General of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

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