Facebook is trialling a tool to tackle those annoying fake ads where Karl Stefanovic tries to flog you Bitcoin

No, Karl Stefanovic is not giving you a great deal on cryptocurrency. (Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage)
  • Facebook is trialling a tool that lets you report fake ads you see on its platform.
  • The reporting tools comes after a number of celebs had their images used for fake ads and scams on Facebook.
  • It is being trialled in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

Have you seen an obvious scam on your Facebook feed recently?

Facebook is testing out a tool that lets Aussies report fake ads they see on the platform.

The form is available on the Facebook website, allowing you to report any ads on Facebook “that you believe was meant to mislead or scam people out of money or personal information”.

It comes after images of celebs such as TV presenters Karl Stefanovic and Waleed Aly were used on Facebook to promote scams. Earlier this year, scammers used a fake news post and testimonial from Stefanovic for a Bitcoin Trader scam which called on users to invest money into it, the Daily Telegraph reported.

“We’re putting significant resources towards tackling these kinds of ads,” a Facebook spokesperson told Business Insider Australia in an email.

“It’s important to us that ads on Facebook are useful to people and not used to promote deceptive behaviour, like using images of public figures to mislead people. When people report an ad, that information helps us improve our automated detection systems to counter cloaking tactics and make us better.”

The reporting tool is being tested in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

In 2018, UK TV presenter Martin Lewis sued Facebook for defamation after the company published several fake ads that featured his name and face, the Guardian reported. At the time, Lewis sought damages for Facebook failing to quickly remove the ads, which both affected his reputation and scammed victims.

Lewis later dropped the legal suit after Facebook agreed to launch a reporting button for ad scams and to give £3 million to Citizens Advice to support victims of online scams, according to the BBC.

But it’s not just public figures who are embroiled in scams.

In September this year, a Western Australian woman lost $670,000 to an investment scam online which used a fake endorsement from mining magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, the ABC reported. The scammers has used fake ABC news articles to promote the scam on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Facebook’s Director of Product Management Rob Leathern told AAP that Facebook removed more than 2.2 billion fake accounts around the world between January and March 2019.

In April 2019, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) listed investment scams as the biggest type of scam by financial loss.

The consumer watchdog also projected that the amount of money Australians lose to scams will exceed $532 million by the end of 2019.

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