Facebook sued in Australia for fraudulent crypto adverts

Facebook claims this crypto advertising breach its regulations and is attempting to restrict their spread.

A few weeks ago, Australia’s wealthiest man, Andrew Forrest, was obliged to file criminal complaints against Meta for permitting crypto scam adverts using his name and age.

Now, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has launched legal action against the parent corporation of Facebook owing to its failure to restrict the spread of such postings on its platform.

Australia goes against Meta for crypto scam advertisements

Facebook has become one of the most utilised venues by crypto fraudsters to advertise phoney money-making schemes. Crypto fraudsters have spread these advertisements utilising the picture and names of notable persons ranging from Elon Musk to Vitalik Buterin to even those who aren’t related to crypto like Andrew Forrest.

The consumer protection agency warned that the adverts might have misled Facebook users who felt they were promotions by renowned Australians. These advertisements included names and photographs of politicians, tv celebrities, business executives, etc., and contained links to phoney media stories.

It also says that Facebook “aided and abetted or was knowingly involved in fraudulent or misleading behaviour and statements by the advertisers.”

ACCC has subsequently launched the lawsuit in a federal court and would most likely be utilising evidence that includes the ones submitted by Andrew Forrest a few weeks ago. The mining billionaire slammed Facebook for enabling criminals to exploit his name and picture for fraudulent adverts.

Normally, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) addresses this matter. But the ACCC is launching the complaint owing to the consumer protection portion of the issue.

Interestingly, Zachxbt, a prominent crypto investigator, tweeted about how Facebook enabled crypto “scams to run rampant” on their platform.

The proliferation of crypto frauds on social media sites

The problem of crypto fraudsters utilising social media platforms to advertise their unlawful operations isn’t restricted to Facebook alone; other major sites like Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram have also had to cope with this threat.

According to a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigation on crypto frauds on social media, unknowing investors lost over $700 million of their money to scams committed through these platforms in 2021. This, according to another FTC study, was 12 times more than it reported in 2020. As of this January, crypto scams account for most internet investments-related frauds.

However, these platforms have proven their readiness to assist the government to restrict the use of their platforms by these undesirable actors.

Facebook, in its defence, stated that this advertising violated its regulations and that the corporation was striving to prevent such postings. It stated that it was cooperating with the probe and would defend itself properly.

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