Facebook sued by Australian commission for fake crypto ads using celebrities

Australia is suing Facebook as of Friday for scam advertisements. The ads promoted cryptocurrency schemes with public figures at the forefront.

The Australian commission said it had begun Federal Court proceedings against Meta Platform for “false, misleading or deceptive conduct,” claiming it breaches consumer and security laws.

The lawsuit says Meta failed to do enough to prevent scams, even after celebrities alerted that they had been misrepresented.

A spokesperson for the company shared a public defense stating, “We don’t want ads seeking to scam people out of money or mislead people on Facebook— they violate our policies and are not good for our community.”

The commission said the ads featured prominent figures from Australia, including New South Wales Mike Baird and businessman Dick Smith.

“Apart from resulting in untold losses to consumers, these ads also damage the reputation of the public figures falsely associated with the ads,” said Rod Sims, who sits as the commission chair.

“Meta failed to take sufficient steps to stop fake ads featuring public figures, even after those public figures reported to Meta that their name and image were being featured in celebrity endorsement cryptocurrency scam ads,” he said.

According to the commission said, one consumer lost more than A$650,000 (US$480,000).

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