The personal finance expert has seen his name abused in faked advertisements selling fraudulent crypto-related products.
Martin Lewis believes fraudulent ads on Facebook drew inveterate investors into shady Bitcoin-related schemes, destroying savings and lives. The personal finance expert, known for his MoneySavingExpert.com service, is suing Facebook for allowing the misleading apps.
Facebook discontinued crypto-related apps, but by that time, the damage had been done.
“The impact on peoples mental health of losing their retirement funds, or losing their children’s, children’s money that they thought they were investing is catastrophic and life-destructive,” said Lewis, quoted by Business Insider.
Some of the largest scams have affected buyers who are in fact very far from the crypto community, and have very little understanding of digital currencies. Cloud mining schemes and other get-rich-quick opportunities have been sold directly to people with no previous knowledge of the mechanisms or risks of crypto coins.
Lewis has pointed out he is not after Facebook just for settlement money, but also aims to extract an apology, and make the company reconsider its policy on faked ads. The abuse of his name has preyed on people who trusted the money expert’s reputation, and believed crypto-related schemes were in fact safe, well-established investment opportunities. He believes Facebook can use its team to actively moderate personal finance ads:
“No ones says that a technology company can only have technological solutions. If you can’t do it with technology, you know what you have to do, is you have to cut your profits and do it manually,” he said.
Facebook put a freeze on crypto ads in January, but reintroduced them in June. In general, crypto projects do not advertise themselves directly, and use grass-roots community building. Marketing is also directed to people who are aware of the risks and technology, and can estimate not to over-invest.
However, projects like BitConnect and similar cloud mining schemes often prey on those who are ready to invest significant funds. In the end, latecomers often use their investment, if the pyramid scheme crumbles.