Scam ads for cryptocurrency services have become a common practice on Australia’s Facebook. One of the affected individuals lost up to $500,000. The case has been addressed by the local regulator.
Fraudulent investment schemes
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), has decided to initiate proceedings against the company Meta (formerly Facebook), for allowing the publication of fraudulent ads on its pages.
As it turns out, in Australia, Facebook recently published ads of investment programs based on cryptocurrencies. Given the fact that images of famous people were used to promote them, it would seem that they were fully verified and above all legitimate. Characters encouraging investment include: Dick Smith, presenter David Koch and former politician Mike Baird. They presented the opportunities behind the use of digital assets. When asked about their involvement in the campaign, they denied ever endorsing, supporting, or even participating in similar ventures.
The ads present on Facebook contained links that took users to fake articles. Subsequently, the victims were encouraged to invest their funds in these digital asset-based schemes. Those who were undecided were put under additional pressure by phone calls to complete the deal. Those who gave in and took the risk irretrievably lost their funds. The highest amount that was lost was nearly 500,000 dollars.
According to the Australian commission, the Meta company had full knowledge that these ads were being published, but took no action.
ACCC Chairman, Rod Sims, commented on the events as follows:
“The crux of our case is that Meta is responsible for the ads it publishes on its platform (…) Meta should have been doing more to detect and then remove false or misleading content on Facebook to prevent consumers from falling victim to outright scammers. “
This type of practice led to many losses for Australians. Another effect was that the reputations of well-known public figures have been tarnished. As the case is related to the cryptocurrency segment, they have also been shrouded in disrepute.
Unfortunately, similar activities are common in spaces like Twitter and YouTube, for example. Difficulties in dealing with scammers have an impact on the temporary slowdown of cryptocurrency adoption in the world.