Monday, March 4

Australia sues Facebook for profiting from cryptocurrency scams

  • The regulator considers that Meta has not removed fraudulent advertisements about virtual currencies that use images of celebrities without permission

Trouble Facebook on Australia. The regulatory body of the oceanic country has sued Goalthe parent company that owns the social networkfor not having done enough to remove the ads from scams in which celebrities appeared promoting investment in cryptocurrencies.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has argued in Australian federal court that these ads continued to appear on the platform even after the public figures featured in them claimed their image was being used without their consent. Some of them are also taking Meta to court for that reason.

The regulator accuses Facebook of having “knowingly collaborated or participated in false or misleading conduct and representations” by allowing the publication of misleading ads of cryptocurrencies would have a detrimental impact on consumers, the users of the social network.

“Untold” scams

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The lawsuit notes that these alleged scams began in 2019 with the publication of false news in which readers were urged to invest in fraudulent schemes of cryptocurrencies. The Australian regulator adds that those affected suffered “incalculable losses.” One user was extracted up to 477,000 dollars (more than 432,000 euros). Meta would have profited from these scams, generating “substantial income” by posting fraudulent ads.

The use of cryptocurrencies as Bitcoin o Ether is becoming more common, especially among young people who see it as an investment mechanism to earn money easily. Last year its popularity skyrocketed and many took advantage of this digital gold rush to launch all kinds of scams with which to steal money from small investors. Last year these scams reached a volume of more than 14,000 million dollars (about 12,700 million euros), an all-time high.

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