Facebook approves scam s consumer

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Scandal: Facebook approves scam

Australia’s consumer watchdog is suing Facebook, accusing the
social media giant of helping cryptocurrency scammers impersonate
celebrities and rip-off their users, causing “untold losses”
Fraudsters have for years using Facebook to run scam ads, with
images of public figures such as TV presenter David Koch and
mining boss Andrew Forrest used to lure users into fake
cryptocurrency investment deals.
In Federal Court proceedings filed on Friday, the Australian
Competition and Consumer Commission alleges Meta (Facebook’s
parent) has aided and profited from these “disgraceful” scams.
“The technology of Meta enabled these ads to be targeted to users
most likely to engage with the ads,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said
on Friday.
“Meta should have done more to detect and then remove false or
misleading ads on Facebook, to prevent consumers from falling victim
to ruthless scammers.”
The scam ads work by posting images of prominent figures, often next
to fake quotes promoting bitcoin. Users who click on the links are
taken to websites made to look like legitimate investment programs
endorsed by those celebrities – but they’re actually scams designed
to steal money.
The ACCC case is just Meta’s latest legal battle over its role in
hosting these scam ads on its platform. Mr Forrest has commenced
criminal proceedings against the company over scam ads featuring his
Mr Forrest wrote to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in 2019 about
the scams, but his personal appeal failed to stop the ads.
Mr Sims said the scams had caused “untold losses” for consumers.
One user alone lost more than $650,000 after being lured in.
“This is disgraceful,” Mr Sims said on Friday.
“The celebrity endorsement cryptocurrency scam ads were still being
displayed on Facebook even after public figures around the world had
complained that their names and images had been used in similar ads
without their consent,” he said.
Scammers have impersonated dozens of famous Australian celebrities,
politicians and business owners to promote their fraud over the years.
They include former NSW premier Mark Baird, Boost Juice founder
Janine Allis, Thor actor Chris Hemsworth and billionaire Dick Smith.