John de Mol, who is behind the reality television hit show “Big Brother,” blames Facebook for scammers using his likeness on fraudulent bitcoin-fueled ads that stole nearly $2 million from investors. De Mol, who according to Forbes is worth $1.7 billion, has reportedly filed a complaint in an Amsterdam court against the social media giant for not doing more to prevent the alleged crypto frauds. The ads, which reportedly lured investors to buy bitcoin or engage in crypto-related endeavors that they claimed de Mol had a hand in, are now gone.
If you don’t think you know Dutch media mogul, think again. De Mol’s former companies Endemol and Talpa Media are behind great reality TV programming such as “The Voice,” “Fear Factor,” “Deal or No Deal,” and of course, “Big Brother.”
Facebook is in the midst of launching its own payment cryptocurrency, GlobalCoin, and recently relaxed its standards for crypto ads. The social media giant faces a slippery slope now that it wants to participate in a space whose regulation has yet to be formalized while simultaneously protecting its users from the bad actors. CCN came across a review for a Bitcoin-based trading system that features de Mol (which we purposely chose not to include) riddled with a money-back promise and other pie-in-the-sky claims.
FACEBOOK DROPPED THE BALL
The reality television phenom’s issues with Facebook are twofold: he believes the company could have stopped the bitcoin ads from appearing in the first place and they dropped the ball after he reported the problem. Reports reveal that “fake and fraudulent” ads appeared on both Facebook and Instagram giving the impression that de Mol was endorsing these projects. Unsuspecting investors then fell for the alleged crypto scams and saw their funds – reportedly worth $1.9 million – disappear. As a result, de Mol says his image was damaged.
According to Facebook’s attorney cited in Bloomberg:
“All ads were removed and the advertisers were banned, but the scammers evolve their practices. Facebook shares the frustration of de Mol on the fake ads.”
The Bloomberg report suggests that the fake de Mol ads have been duping people out of funds since last fall. While Facebook has attempted to block scammy ads from making their way into the newsfeeds of its users by banning aspects of crypto including ICOs, the bad actors have devised ways to beat the system.
Other social media sites including Twitter are not immune to bitcoin-fueled frauds. One schemer created a fake Elon Musk account and claimed to be giving away some $2 million worth of ETH. Twitter, which according to Forbes has been known to take a week before removing crypto-related fake ads, bans ICOs and crypto exchanges from advertising on its platform.