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Aussie Billionaire Andrew Forrest Sues Facebook Over Crypto Scams

2 mins
4 February 2022, 05:10 GMT+0000
Updated by Nicole Buckler
4 February 2022, 05:12 GMT+0000
In Brief
  • Andrew Forrest is one of the richest men in Australia
  • His image and credibility is being used as bait by crypto scammers
  • The billionaire claims that Facebook violated Australia's anti-money laundering laws by not stopping the spread of the scam ads
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Andrew Forrest is one of Australia’s richest men. He has filed a criminal case against Facebook for not preventing scam crypto ads using his likeness on the social network.

According to The Australian newspaper, the billionaire decided to bring a case against Facebook, which has recently changed its name to Meta. This is on behalf of “those ordinary Australians – mothers and fathers, grandparents and grandparents – who work their whole lives to pool their savings and ensure that these savings are not stolen by scammers.”

Andrew Forrest and his fortune

Forrest is the former CEO of Fortescue Metals Group. According to Forbes, his net worth is valued at $18.2 billion. Criminals began impersonating Forrest, using his reputation to lure Australians into fraudulent crypto investments.

In the lawsuit, it is noted that a victim lost $670,000 in one of those scams. With the growth of the cryptocurrency market in recent years, criminals have increasingly taken advantage of the image of influential people to undertake fraud.

Big names in the crypto world, such as Elon Musk and Michael Saylor, have already been used as bait to attract novice investors. The CEO of MicroStrategy commented that every hour about 10 to 15 videos use his image to give credibility to fraudulent projects posted on YouTube.

Other scams

In 2019, Forrest had previously publicly criticized Facebook for allowing crypto scams involving his name and image to be spread on the social network. Now, he claims the company violated Australia’s anti-money laundering laws by not preventing the spread of these ads.

It is worth noting that in recent months the company led by Mark Zuckerberg has become embroiled in a major scandal. This is after a former employee leaked documents proving that Facebook allowed the proliferation of fake news to increase the interaction of its users on its platform.

Facebook Libra
Mark’s crypto efforts haven’t worked out well

In addition to the criminal suit, the billionaire filed a civil lawsuit against Meta in California, where the company has its main headquarters. If found guilty, the company may pay large fines and be forced to change its advertising policy in Australia.

Meta can claim that it cannot held responsible for the contents of its users. However, the Australian government has been preparing to increasingly hold social networking platforms accountable for defamatory comments, false news and the spread of fraud by its users. Unfortunately, whatever the outcome, the biggest losers are still victims of the scams, which still continue unabated.

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