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“The Voice” Producer Sues Facebook over Crypto Scam Ads


The Dutch billionaire and media magnate John De Mol sues Facebook for displaying crypto scam ads with his image according to a Reuters report on June 5.

De Mol was used as the face of crypto scam

Reuters reported that the ads in question used the image of De Mol for crypto scam and displayed him as endorsing these. There were even quotes shown claiming how much money he purportedly had made with his Bitcoin investments.

All these ads were in some way soliciting the sending of BTC while claiming that De Mol was involved or backing the “businesses” behind the ads.

John De Mol is one of the key figures behind the Danish variants of “Big Brother” and “The Voice” and thus well-known. No wonder then, that so many users fell victim to the scams.

The lawsuit against FB is already filed

Before Facebook reacted to his complaints and removed the ads, consumers had already sent the scammers a total of $1,9 million. De Mol’s lawyer, Jaqueline Schapp, argued that the social media’s reporting system simply wasn’t cutting it. The company should instead take preemptive action to react to these types of scams.

“I don’t know what reality Facebook lives in, but that doesn’t work,” Schapp stated.

Currently, De Mol is still working on finding out the names of the people behind the fraudulent ads to notify the authorities. He already filed a lawsuit against Facebook for the damages to his reputation and for featuring fake ads on its platform.

This way, he hopes that the company will fix its procedures to block crypto scam ads in the future.

Facebook claims it’s doing what it can

Facebook’s director of product management, Rob Leathern, commented that Facebook takes fraudulent ads that violate the sites policies and display public figures very seriously. However, one thing it particularly struggles with, is the resourcefulness of the scammers, he told reporters:

“The people who push these kinds of ads are persistent, they are well-funded and they are constantly evolving their deceptive tactics to get around our systems.”

The lawyer of the company, Jens van den Brink, declared that it would not be reasonable for Facebook to monitor every single ad. He also pointed out that, after it had been notified of the problem, the ads in question had been removed immediately.

To prevent similar cases from happening in the future, the social media giant is already looking for new ways to combat crypto scam. For this purpose, it has recently met with the Dutch financial market regulator AFM to discuss different approaches.

Scams like these are the reason why crypto ads are blocked

Crypto scam ads have been a serious problem in recent years. Especially since the bull run of 2017, they have become more and more common which has led many platforms to ban cryptocurrency-related ads altogether.

With the long crypto winter, these rules have relaxed a bit. Still, a recent report by Cointelegraph from June 5 stated that the search engine Bing has filtered over five million crypto ads in 2018 alone. Even in 2019, many fraudulent ads have to be blocked every day.

Afraid to fall victim to a crypto scam?

Of course, there are some well thought out crypto scams out there that can hardly be identified as such. However, most fraudulent crypto ads target a very specific type of crypto user: Namely, potential investors who are impulsive and uninformed and therefore easy to manipulate.

Once you know the common red flags these crypto scams have in common, they are getting significantly easier to identify. Here you can find our guide on how to spot crypto fraud and invest your money safely.


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Hendrik is an experienced crypto journalist who has worked for large German publications. He has been involved in the crypto sphere since 2013. As an early adopter, of the new technology, he is especially invested in exploring what its further development will mean for the future of finance. If he is not drinking a nice green tea while writing about crypto, he is probably improving his Go skills.