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Off-topic Chatter: A Story of Falling Victim to Fake Invoices Disguised as Meta Advertising Charges

“Since we often discuss serious topics, this time I’d like to share a story that’s more relatable to everyone – an incident involving a fictitious invoice that appeared to be related to Meta advertising charges.

The incident occurred on New Year’s Day this year. According to the usage information email from my credit card company, the merchant was listed as “FACEBOOK UZC6FU3252.” At first glance, I thought it might be a charge for Facebook/Instagram advertising that I had recently run. Especially if you are regularly running Facebook/Instagram ads for your business, it’s easy to assume it’s just a standard card transaction, right?

However, when I reviewed this email again while processing expense reports within our company, I realized that our corporate card was not associated with any active Facebook/Meta advertising accounts during that period. To be safe, I decided to check all our advertising accounts. The result confirmed that we hadn’t used it at all. I immediately called the credit card company, stopped the card, and requested a new one. (The total amount of the damage was 43,003 yen…)

For those in the same industry or anyone who uses multiple cards, please be cautious. It’s easy to overlook such transactions when the merchant name seems familiar!

Masaki “Mark” Iino
Founder & CEO