Multiple accounts have been spotted trying to scam consumers by posing as official sellers for Facebook’s upcoming cryptocurrency Libra. And they’re doing it on Facebook. Of course they are.
Facebook seemed slow to catch on as a dozen groups have been discovered trying to tout discounted amounts of the cryptocurrency, despite the fact that Libra is not expected to launch until 2020.
Related: All you need to know about Facebook Libra
The accounts were initially discovered and reported to Facebook after an investigation by The Washington Post. A number of pages were spotted using images from Libra’s marketing campaign and images of CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in an attempt to appear more official and fool users into sending them cash.
Posts have been spotted all over social media, including on Twitter and YouTube, but the most embarrassing of the lot are those that were seen on Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram.
The issue here isn’t that these scams would crop up – in fact, it seemed almost inevitable considering Libra’s notoriety – but that Facebook wouldn’t have a system in place to sniff out scammers and take the posts down before they further harmed the company’s reputation.
A spokeswoman for Facebook told The Washington Post: “Facebook removes ads and pages that violate our policies when we become aware of them, and we are constantly working to improve detection of scams on our platforms”. The posts reported by the site have since been removed, but there’s no way of knowing how many more Libra scams are out there.
This news comes in wake of Facebook facing harsh criticism from Washington over how it plans to regulate the cryptocurrency. Rep. Carolyn Maloney said that she doesn’t think the company “should launch Libra at all”, while Sen. Mark R. Warner said that the fake accounts are “another strong indication Facebook should take a very cautious approach to Libra and commit not to launching any product until U.S. regulator concerns are satisfied”.
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Unfortunately for Libra, it seems that Facebook has been dragging its feet to make the cryptocurrency appear trustworthy in the lead up to its release next year.