Class-action lawsuits could hit Facebook, MySpace, others on scam offers

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offerpal-1Lawyers are investigating whether to file class-action lawsuits based on the recent scandal over scam-like offers that have appeared in games and other apps on social networks.

Sacramento-based law firm Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff has begun investigating complaints about unauthorized charges that resulted from social network users being duped into accepting scam offers, Gawker reported. The law firm is looking at users of Facebook, MySpace, Zynga, RockYou, Offerpal Media, and Super Rewards, among others.

Following the commotion over offers in the past couple of weeks, the offer and social apps industry has already moved to end offer practices that led to billing complaints from consumers. Facebook temporarily suspended one of Zynga’s new games, FishVille, for example, because it violated the network’s new guidelines on advertising offers. Zynga responded by pulling the offers out of its games. Now the question is whether the companies will be liable for damages to consumers.

But it’s unclear how big the damages will be. Offerpal said that less than 1 percent of its offers generated complaints of any kind, though that was a statement by its now former chief executive, Anu Shukla (pictured, above right). The company’s new CEO, George Garrick, has said that Offerpal’s business wasn’t as clean as it had thought. Zynga’s CEO, Mark Pincus, was also filmed months back saying his company did “every horrible thing” to get users. Companies like RockYou, MySpace, Facebook and others have either reiterated or instituted a zero tolerance stance on scam offers. These are the sorts of admissions that class-action lawyers love.

[Photo by Alexa Lee]

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