Saturday, November 26, 2022

Australian Regulator Takes Meta To Court Over Fake Crypto Ads

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Australian Regulator on competition takes Meta, formerly known as Facebook, to court over fake crypto ads that feature prominent Australian figures like entrepreneurs Dick Smith, David Koch, and former NSW Premier Mike Baird in particular so let’s read further in today’s latest cryptocurrency news today.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will be taking Meta platforms Inc to the Federal Court alleging that the company and its Irish branch engaged in “false, misleading or deceptive conduct” by publishing scam celebrity crypto ads. The users lost thousands of dollars to the long-running scams tied to the ad. The spotlight on META was heated up in Australia with the reports showing that the Australian regulator was investigating the company over fraudulent crypto ads back in February. The Aussie mining billionaire Andrew Forrest took legal action against the company for hosting Ads that used his name and scam victims.

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In the announcement published earlier today, the ACCC asserted that META aided and abetted or was knowingly concerned in fake or misleading conduct and representations by the advertisers. The ACCC outlined unapproved scam ads that featured prominent Australian figures like TV host David Koch, Dich smith, and former NSW Premier Mike Baird. The regulator stated that the ads contained fraudulent links which directed users off Facebook to a fake media article that featured quotes that were attributed to public figures that allegedly endorsed a crypto scheme. The announcement read:

“Users were then invited to sign up and were subsequently contacted by scammers who used high-pressure tactics, such as repeated phone calls, to convince users to deposit funds into the fake schemes.”

ACCC Chair Rod Sims didn’t stutter when he said that Meta is responsible for the ads that it publishes on the platform and that the company made some financial gains by failing to remove these ads:

“It is a key part of Meta’s business to enable advertisers to target users who are most likely to click on the link in an ad to visit the ad’s landing page, using Facebook algorithms. Those visits to landing pages from ads generate substantial revenue for Facebook.”

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The regulator added:

“In one shocking instance, we are aware of a consumer who lost more than $650,000 due to one of these scams being falsely advertised as an investment opportunity on Facebook. This is disgraceful.”

The ACCC is arguing that the company’s conduct breached the Australian Consumer Law or the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act, seeking more declarations, penalties, and other orders.

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