The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has lodged a complaint against Meta Platforms and plans to pursue a case in the Federal Court.
The ACCC alleged that Meta has purposefully allowed “false, misleading or deceptive” ads that have resulted in scam celebrity crypto ads.
Meta’s decision to lift a previous ban has inundated its social media, Facebook, with a string of dubious ads promoting “Tesla tokens” and other scams almost without discretion.
ACCC began investigating the company in February as the frequency of such ads was becoming more severe.
Action by the watchdog comes hot on the heels of Australian mining billionaire Andrew Forrest openly criticizing the platform for allowing scammers to use his name for their crypto schemes and defraud victims.
Forrest has also lodged a case against Meta. According to the ACCC, Meta “aided and abetted” the behavior that led to the circulation of misleading and fraudulent content. ACCC claims that Meta knew and, through inaction, condoned this behavior.
Meta approved scams misusing the likeness and images of various people, including entrepreneur Dick Smith TV host and David Koch. Worse, the platform directly allowed these ads to take people off-platform and onto shady websites.
ACCC chair Rod Sims slammed the platform for its purported actions and said that the regulator would seek robust action against it. According to Sims, people have been losing hundreds of thousands of dollars through such scams.
This has once again brought up the issue of misleading consumers and how risky crypto and blockchain investments are and how even knowledgeable investors may become victim of relatively simple scams.