10 September 2022
Six U.S. senators have demanded answers from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg about how his company is handling cryptocurrency scams on its social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp. “We are concerned that Meta provides a breeding ground for cryptocurrency fraud that causes significant harm to consumers,” the lawmakers wrote.
U.S. Senators Robert Menendez, Sherrod Brown, Elizabeth Warren, Dianne Feinstein, Bernard Sanders, and Cory A. Booker jointly sent a letter on Thursday to Mark Zuckerberg, chairman and CEO of Meta, about his company’s “efforts to combat cryptocurrency scams on its social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp.”
Citing “recent reports of scams on other social media platforms and apps,” including data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the senators wrote:
We are concerned that Meta provides a breeding ground for cryptocurrency fraud that causes significant harm to consumers.
“While crypto scams are prevalent across social media, several of Meta’s sites are particularly popular hunting grounds for scammers,” the letter describes. “Among consumers who reported being scammed out of cryptocurrency on a social media website, 32% identified the scam as having originated on Instagram, 26% on Facebook, and 9% on Whatsapp.”
The lawmakers asked Zuckerberg seven questions concerning Meta’s current policies pertaining to cryptocurrency scams. They request that the Meta CEO responds with detailed information by Oct. 24.
For each of Meta’s social media platforms, the questions include how the company finds and removes crypto scammers, educates and warns users about crypto scams, and assists victims of fraudulent crypto schemes. The senators also asked how Meta verifies that crypto ads are not scams and what regulatory licenses are required to advertise on its platforms. Moreover, they asked to what extent Meta collaborates with law enforcement to track down scammers.
U.S. authorities have been warning that scammers are increasingly using social media to defraud investors. In August, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned investors of fraudsters exploiting their fear of missing out (FOMO) on social media.
Have you come across any scams on Meta’s platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp? Let us know in the comments section below.
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