Dutch billionaire John De Mol, earlier this week filed a lawsuit against Social media giants Facebook over cryptocurrency ads that use his picture without due permission.
De Mol claims that customers have lost as much as over $1.9 million (1.7 million euros) due to the deceptive ads, and his reputation was severely damaged as a result.
This isn’t the first time Facebook is being sued over fake crypto ads — and, in spite of Facebook’s numerous efforts to eradicate the problem, it doesn’t seem to stop.
Despite the additional measures from Facebook to avoid fraudulent crypto ads, it seems that fraud-related cryptocurrency ads still find their way to the site. Consequently, the social media behemoth is now in at the center of a major lawsuit.
The case was filed by John De Mol, a 64 year old Dutch entertainment tycoon whose net worth is said to be in the range of $1.7 billion.
It isn’t the first time De Mol, who is connected to the international Television hits like “The Voice,” “Fear Factor” “Deal or No Deal,”
and the extremely famous “Big Brother,” has said that Facebook crypto ads that exploit on his picture. He first came across the issue in October 2018, as reported by Jacqueline Schaap, one of the lawyers from his legal team, told Cointelegraph through an email correspondence:
“John de Mol noticed the ads for the first time in October 2018, we do not know whether these were the first adds to appear. We just have not noticed them before, but that does not mean that they have not been published.”
When De Mol issued a public statement after coming across these ads. He told the general public that these crypto ads did not have the permission to use his image or name. As per a report from De Telegraf, certain people were told to send money to a firm called the Bitcoin Profit, which according to them is solidly backed by De Mol. As of the time of publishing this, the ad was already deleted.
Presently, De Mol is taking Facebook to the Amsterdam District Court, as the ad has posed a serious problem to the media tycoon. As per the to court documents which Cointelegraph laid their hands on, the ads that feature De Mol’s picture promoted crypto scams on Instagram and Facebook, which supposedly hurt his reputation.
The plaintiff is accusing the social media giant of not doing enough to stop the ads and for failing to respond to the several complaints they laid when the ads were running. In addition, De Mol’s lawyers requested that Facebook hands over data about the people who make such ads.
Furthermore, De Mol’s legal team asserts that unsuspecting customers have lost an estimated 1.7 million euros (which is about $1.9 million) because of the fraudulent ads. They also noted that several Dutch celebrities were targeted too.
Schaap in an interview told Cointelegraph that the sum was gotten from “a number of newspaper/internet articles” and that it was revealed by Fraudedesk, a local company that raises public consciousness on fraudulent activities.
A staff from Fraudedesk confirmed this to Cointelegraph. He said that the stolen amount of 1.7 million euros that was reportedly stolen was from 200 people who participated in the fake ads since 2017. The company’s representative wrote through an email:
“Generally only 10% is reported to us, so this amount is just the tip of the iceberg,”
In a report by Reuters, Schaap said that Facebook is accountable for such things and that the present vetting process is simply not enough:
“I don’t know what reality Facebook lives in, but that does not work.”
In reply, Jens van den Brink Facebook lawyer reportedly stated that Facebook couldn’t be mandated to monitor all adverts on its website all the time, and that the social media had deleted the ads linked to De Mol immediately after being informed about De Mol’s complaints.
Before the hearing, Facebook’s Leathern stated to reporters the social media company is trying to stop fraudulent adverts:
“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 conclusion of this lawsuit is not clear at this point. As reported by Reuters, the judge declared that both sides would have to reach a settlement. Both parties were not available for comments when they were reached out to.