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Meta faces criminal lawsuit in Australia for inaction against crypto ads scam

Meta claims that this crypto advertising violates company regulations and that it is striving to limit its proliferation.

Andrew Forrest, Australia’s richest man, filed a criminal complaint against Meta for permitting crypto scam ads using his name and age. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has now launched legal action against Facebook’s parent corporation for its failure to limit the spread of such posts on its platform.

Meta has evolved into one of the most popular sites for crypto fraudsters to pitch bogus money-making ideas. Crypto fraudsters have spread these advertisements by utilising the pictures and names of notable people, ranging from Elon Musk to Vitalik Buterin, as well as others who aren’t associated with cryptocurrency, such as Andrew Forrest.

According to the consumer protection authority, the ads may have misled Facebook users who thought they were promotions from prominent Australians. These ads featured the names and photographs of politicians, television stars, business leaders, and others, as well as links to phoney media stories. It also claims that Meta aided and abetted or was knowingly involved in the marketers’ deceptive or misleading conduct and statements.

Normally, these types of cases are handled by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). However, the ACCC is launching the lawsuit because of the consumer protection aspect of the matter. Interestingly, Zachxbt, a well-known crypto detective, recently tweeted about how Facebook has enabled crypto scams to run wild on its site.

The problem of crypto fraudsters utilising social media platforms to advertise their unlawful operations isn’t restricted to Facebook; major sites such as Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram have all had to cope with it.

According to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) research on cryptocurrency fraud on social media, unknowing investors lost over $700 million in 2021 to scams conducted through these networks. According to another FTC study, this was 12 times more than it was in 2020. As of January this year, crypto scams accounted for the majority of online investment-related frauds.

However, these platforms have shown a desire to collaborate with authorities in order to limit the use of their platforms by these undesirable actors. Meta has also stated that the advertising violated its regulations and that it was striving to ban similar posts. It also stated that it was cooperating with the inquiry and would properly defend itself.

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Vaishali Goel
Vaishali Goel
Technology enthusiast, explorer and academic scholar. Currently exploring the crypto world. Join me in my journey to see how crypto, NFT and Metaverse will change the world.


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