“Can’t keep up”: Gina Rinehart urges Mark Zuckerberg to crack down on Meta scams

Article by David Adams courtesy of Smart Company.

Australia’s richest person Gina Rinehart has urged Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg to crack down on the “hundreds” of imitation scams on Facebook that use Rinehart’s image and likeness.

In a letter dated November 9 and released publicly on Monday, Rinehart, executive chair of Hancock Prospecting, said Facebook users are being defrauded of money by posts claiming that investment schemes, backed or operated by Rinehart, will offer significant returns.

“This has happened to me, hundreds of times, and my staff can’t keep up there are so many,” Rinehart said.

Despite Rinehart’s team reporting the scams when they appear on Facebook, she claims the fraudulent posts are still commonplace on the platform.

The mining magnate said other high-profile entrepreneurs, including Harry Triguboff and Dick Smith, are also imitated by social media scammers.

Media personalities Tracy Grimshaw and Karl Stefanovic are also commonly used in scam posts, she added.

The images of TV anchors, most notably the former Sunrise host David Koch, are commonly utilised for cryptocurrency scams across social media.

“Greater action is needed” to stop the scams, Rinehart said, urging faster and more long-lasting solutions to the problem.

“Timely removal of scam content is crucial to mitigating its impact, and clear communication with users about the outcomes of their reports will build trust in your platform’s commitment to user safety,” she said.

Rinehart is hardly the first Australian mining figure to challenge Facebook or its founder over imitation posts.

In 2022, Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, Australia’s second-richest person, brought criminal charges against Facebook.

He alleged the platform breached anti-money laundering laws by failing to curtail the scam ads.

The matter is still before the courts.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission launched separate Federal Court proceedings against Meta in March 2022 alleging “they engaged in false, misleading or deceptive conduct by publishing scam advertisements featuring prominent Australian public figures”.

For its part, Facebook encourages users who successfully identify impersonation scams to alert the platform itself.

“If you see a profile or Page that’s pretending to be you, someone you know or a public figure (e.g. celebrity, politician), we encourage you to let us know,” the platform says.

“You can report potentially impersonating profiles or Pages to us even if you don’t have a Facebook account.”

Facebook also says users can report ads that violate its advertising standards.

“Reports like these help improve the integrity and relevance of ads across our technologies,” the platform says.

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