Australian billionaire Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest is taking Facebook to court over scams using his image to steal money.
Facebook and other social media platforms have had a huge problem with imposter accounts promoting scams.
These scams can be found on almost every Twitter and Facebook post regarding cryptocurrencies.
The lack of effort from social media sites to remove and fight back against these scams has caused thousands of people to lose money.
Forrest believes Facebook is breaching money laundering rules by profiting off the scammer’s ads that steal money from users.
The lawsuit states that Facebook did not act to remove the illegal ads which makes them accountable for the result of these scams.
The court date is set for March 28 with a committal hearing scheduled for later this year. Forrest is pressing that Facebook’s actions violate Part 10 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code.
The damages done to users through these Facebook ads is enormous. One user lost close to $1m AUD ($700,000) from an ad that used Forrest’s likeness.
Forrest claims they do not know exactly how many have been scammed by these ads and the number of lost funds could be much larger than they know.
A spokesperson from Facebook parent company Meta claims it uses a multi-faceted approach to illegal ads, which removes the ads, blacklists the user and sometimes ends in legal action.
Meanwhile Forrest claims Meta’s failure to remove illegal ads quickly is criminally reckless given the user data they have access to.
Forrest said, “Facebook has shown little appetite to self-regulate or take basic steps to protect Australians from the misuse of its platform by crooks and scammers, so I’ve been left with no other option than to take this action.”
Facebook has not been the only platform under fire from cryptocurrency scams. YouTube has also come under recent fire for allowing streams using Michael Sayer’s likeness to promote a scam coin called OneWorld.
YouTube has reacted quickly to reports of scammer streams but the sheer number being created has made it a challenge to tackle.
The court case with Forrest however is more extreme as Facebook has been collecting ad revenue from scammers and approving these ads for scams.