Dutch Billionnaire Pursuing Facebook over Fake Bitcoin Ads

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John de Mol, one of the co-founders of TV giant Endemol, has said that trying to come to an agreement with Facebook over fraudulent use of his image in Bitcoin scam adverts on the platform is proving “impossible”. De Mol, whose company is behind the “Big Brother” reality television program, filed a lawsuit against the social network in June for permitting fake ads on its platform that used his name and image, but the Libra creators are dragging their heels on the matter.

Facebook Cooperation was “Smokescreen”

De Mol’s image, and by association his reputation, was used by fraudsters to entice people to send money to purchase BTC or participate in scam cryptocurrency-related businesses, claiming that they had de Mol’s involvement, endorsement, or backing. de Mol initially thought that Facebook was cooperating in the case, but three months after filing the producer has said that there seems to be no sign of a resolution:

After three months of negotiating it has become clear to me that it is impossible to come to an agreement with Facebook on the misleading bitcoin advertisements. While the company seemed to be cooperating, it was merely a smokescreen that concealed its reluctance to put in place the desired measures in a timely and correct manner.

Victims Lost $1.9 Million

The adverts have since been removed, but not before users had been conned out of some €1.7 million ($1.9 million), according to de Mol’s lawyers, who say that de Mol was one of several Dutch celebrities targeted. De Mol’s lawyers claimed the executive suffered reputational damage when the would-be investors found out it was a scam and that their money was gone, also stating that Facebook’s vetting system for fraudulent adverts “doesn’t work”. The Netherlands is no stranger to crypto scams. In late June, three Dutch suspects were arrested as part of a $27 million typosquatting scheme after a 14-month investigation involving five separate agencies across The Netherlands and the UK.