Mining billionaire Gina Rinehart slams Mark Zuckerberg for failing to stop social media scams

Article by Sarah Makse, courtesy of the West Australian.

WA mining billionaire Gina Rinehart has slammed Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg for failing to stop a torrent of social media scams across his platforms using her identity to “fraudulently solicit money from vulnerable people”.

Ms Rinehart said her staff couldn’t keep up with the sheer volume of online scams, which she said were resulting in hard-working Australians losing their money.

The Australian reported the businesswoman wrote to Mr Zuckerberg on November 9 after the tech giant — which owns Facebook and Instagram — failed to respond to multiple official complaints from her team over scams falsely using the likeness of her and other high-profile Australians.

“In the last few weeks, I have had more than 750 scams on Facebook, as opposed to only one on Twitter (the platform now known as X) in the same time period, hence I’d appreciate more efforts taken in attempting to address these issues,” Ms Rinehart, the current Western Australian of the Year, said.

The mining magnate said her likeness had been fraudulently used “hundreds of times” and that her staff were unable to keep pace.

“Greater action is needed to stop scams and intentionally fraudulent content from being available and advertised,” she said.

“Meta needs to do more (as) innocent Australians are falling victim to job scams through Facebook.”

Ms Rinehart penned the scathing letter on behalf of several other high-profile Australians — such as businessman Dick Smith and real estate developer Harry Triguboff — whose identities have been used to trick people into giving up cash online.

Another WA mining magnate, Andrew Forrest, launched legal action against Meta after it failed to take down fake ads for a cryptocurrency investment scheme featuring his photo.

Ms Rinehart cited the latest statistics from the National AntiScams Centre, which reported a record $3.1 billion was lost to scams in Australia in 2022.

“This represents an 80 per cent increase from the year before. The NASC also estimates that about 80 per cent of all scams reported include some form of impersonation of a legitimate entity,” she said.

The “emotional and psychological toll” of these scams was huge, she said.

“Despite our staff’s concerted efforts to report such content, there remains an alarming persistence of scams, and new ones increasingly emerge.”

Ms Rinehart said she was yet to receive a response from Meta.

Back to top