The Business Times

Senators ask Meta how it’s fighting crypto scams on platforms

Published Sat, Sep 10, 2022 · 02:45 PM

A group of Democratic senators has asked Meta Platforms chief executive Mark Zuckerberg what his company is doing to stop cryptocurrency scams on its social platforms, including Facebook and Instagram. 

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in June said more than 46,000 people reported losing more than US$1 billion in cryptocurrency to scams between January 2021 and March 2022. Nearly half of those people said the fraud started with an ad, post, or message on a social media platform, the FTC said at the time. 

“We are concerned that Meta provides a breeding ground for cryptocurrency fraud that causes significant harm to consumers,” the lawmakers, including Senate Banking Committee chairman Sherrod Brown, said in a letter released Friday (Sep 9). The FTC data showed that 3 of Meta’s platforms – Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp – were among the top 4 used in the scams. 

“Scam ads breach our ad policies and harm our business by negatively affecting people’s experiences,” Meta spokesman Andy Stone said in an emailed statement. “The people behind scam ads use various methods and channels to reach victims across the internet, and we invest substantial resources to detect and prevent scams on our platforms.”

Other senators on the letter include Robert Menendez, Elizabeth Warren, Dianne Feinstein, Bernie Sanders and Cory Booker. 

The lawmakers asked Zuckerberg to respond to a series of questions by Oct 24. Those include inquiries on its policies for proactively identifying and stopping fraudsters, procedures for verifying that ads on the platforms aren’t scams, the company’s collaboration with law enforcement, and measures for helping customers who are victims of scams. BLOOMBERG

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