Meta, the parent company of social media giant Facebook, is once again in hot water due to cryptocurrency scam ads.
According to a recent report published by The Wall Street Journal, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the chief competition regulator in Australia, has taken the tech giant to court, alleging that it had failed to decisively clamp down on fake celebrity endorsements.
Commission Chair Rod Sims says that the company should have done more to protect users from malicious ads.
Meta, however, asserts that it has been cooperating with the regulator while touting its scam-detecting technology.
Numerous prominent Australian personalities, such as politician Mike Baird, have become embroiled in cryptocurrency fraud schemes, with their names being invertedly used for promoting such products.
The modus operandi has been more or less the same for years: scammers typically post fake news articles with convincing quotations from celebrities that are meant to lure people into investing in a crypto sham.
While seasoned crypto users are very unlikely to fall prey to such scams, it is not uncommon for ordinary people to part with their money in such a way. The regulator says that a single victim can lose $450,000 after clicking a fake cryptocurrency ad.
Financial campaigner Martin Lewis went as far as suing Facebook over fake crypto ads using his name before dropping the lawsuit in early 2019.
If Meta loses the suit filed by the Australian regulator, it will have to pay millions of dollars worth of fines.