Australian Billionaire Files a Criminal Complaint Against Facebook Regarding Fake Crypto Ads

Forrest says that Facebook violated Australia’s anti-money laundering legislation by failing to prevent the adverts and by “failing to develop controls.”

Andrew Forrest is suing Facebook for exploiting his picture in cryptocurrency fraud advertisements on the social media network.

The billionaire said that he was doing so to protect the public from future cryptocurrency frauds perpetrated by “criminal syndicates.”

Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, an Australian millionaire, has filed a criminal complaint against Facebook charging the corporation failed to prohibit bogus cryptocurrency adverts on its site using his picture.

According to an ABC News storey on Wednesday, the commodities mining magnate argues that Facebook, now Meta Inc., was “criminally careless” in failing to remove the scam postings that have been occurring since March 2019. The Western Australian Magistrates Court has been notified.

Additionally, Forrest argues that Facebook violated Australia’s anti-money laundering legislation by failing to block the adverts and by “failing to establish controls or a corporate culture to prevent its services from being exploited to perpetrate crime.”

“I’m worried about innocent Australians falling for clickbait advertising on social media,” Forrest was quoted as saying in the newspaper. “I am determined to ensure that social media companies do not enable criminal syndicates to utilise their platforms.”

According to the article, charges have been filed under Part 10 of the country’s Commonwealth Criminal Code with the approval of the Attorney-General.

“To combat these advertisements, we use a holistic strategy; we try not just to identify and reject the advertisements themselves, but also to prohibit advertisers from our services and, in certain circumstances, to pursue legal action to enforce our regulations,” a Meta representative stated in the article. “We are dedicated to preventing these individuals [scammers] from using our platform.”

This is not the first time the social media behemoth has come under fire for cryptocurrency ad frauds. In 2018, the situation reached a tipping point, prompting Facebook to prohibit any advertising linked to the business. At the time, Facebook described the advertisements as “often connected with fraudulent or misleading commercial techniques.”

According to its advertising regulations, the decision was ultimately reversed to cover just initial coin offers. Though others complain that this provides greater space for fraudsters to abuse their victims, Forrest contends that Facebook has done nothing to address this issue.

“I want social media businesses to devote a greater portion of their massive resources and billions of dollars in yearly sales to protecting vulnerable individuals – the people who are targeted and lose their hard-earned wealth to these heinous frauds,” Forrest said.

A hearing date has been scheduled for March 28 at the magistrate’s court. Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, had its shares fall 20% yesterday after the publication of its latest financial report.

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