The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) directs Meta Platforms, Inc. (formerly known as Facebook) to federal court, alleging that the company and its Irish arm engaged in “false, misleading or misleading behavior” by distributing celebrity cryptocurrency ads. scams.

Some users have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in complex and lengthy advertising scams.

Meta has been the focus of attention in Australia since early February, when Cointelegraph previously reported that the company was being investigated by the ACCC for alleged cryptocurrency fraudulent advertising. Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest is also suing an advertising company for allegedly using his name to scam victims.

In an announcement released earlier today, the ACCC alleged that Meta “had helped or was intentionally harassed by false or misleading advertiser behavior and claims.”

The Anti-Corruption and Accountability Commission has identified unapproved or approved “fraudulent” advertisements featuring well-known Australian figures such as founder Dick Smith, broadcaster David Koch and former NSW premier Mike Bird.

The regulator said the ad contained dubious links that took users away from Facebook to a fake media article containing quotes attributed to a public figure who allegedly supported a “cryptocurrency or money-making scheme.”

“Users were then prompted to sign up and then contacted by scammers who used high-pressure tactics such as frequent phone calls to convince users to invest in bogus schemes,” the ad says.

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims did not comment, stating that “Meta is responsible for these ads as they are hosted on its platform” and that the company benefited financially by not removing them:

“Enabling advertisers to target users who are most likely to click on a link in an ad to go to the ad’s landing page using Facebook’s algorithms is an important part of Meta’s business. These landing page visits from ads generate significant revenue on Facebook.”
“In a shocking case, we know that a consumer lost over $650,000 because one of these scams was falsely advertised as an investment opportunity on Facebook. It’s a shame,” he added.

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The ACCC alleges that the company’s conduct violated the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) or the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Act, and is seeking “applications, warrants, fines, costs and other injunctive relief.”

Source: CoinTelegraph