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Australia’s Competition Regulator Takes Meta to Court for Fake Crypto Ads

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is bringing Meta Platforms, Inc. (formerly Facebook) in Federal Court, alleging that the company and its Ireland branch engaged in “misconduct, misleading or deceptive practices” by publishing cryptocurrency advertisements. celebrity scams.

Some users have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars to sophisticated and lengthy ad-related scams.

Attention on Meta has been heating up in Australia since early February, with Cointelegraph previously reporting that the ACCC has company investigation through allegedly fraudulent cryptocurrency advertisements. Australian mining billionaire Andrew Forrest also sued against the advertising hosting company that allegedly used his name to defraud victims.

In an announcement posted earlier today, the ACCC asserted that Meta “supported and abetted or knowingly related to the conduct and statements of false or misleading advertisers.”

The ACCC has highlighted “deceptive” ads that are not approved or confirmed to feature Australian celebrities such as businessman Dick Smith, TV presenter David Koch and former NSW prime minister Mike Baird.

The regulator claims that the ads contain questionable links that direct users away from Facebook to a fake media article with a quote believed to be from the alleged public figure. “cryptocurrency or monetization scheme”.

“Users were then invited to sign up and then contacted by fraudsters, who used high pressure tactics, such as repeated phone calls, to convince users to used to deposit funds into rogue schemes,” the announcement read.

ACCC President Rod Sims did not deny his words when he asserted that, “Meta is responsible for the advertisements it publishes on its platform” and that the company has made financial profits by how not to remove them:

“This is an important part of Meta’s business to allow advertisers to target users who are most likely to click on a link in an ad to visit the ad’s landing page, using Facebook algorithms. Visits to landing pages from ads generate significant revenue for Facebook. ”

“In one shocking case, we learned of a consumer who lost over $650,000 as a result of one of these scams falsely advertised as an investment opportunity on Facebook. This is shameful,” he added.

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The ACCC argued that the company’s conduct violated the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) or the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act (ASIC Act), and was seeking “statements, orders, penalties, costs and other orders.”