Bitcoin Scam Ads Featuring Martin Lewis Now Spotted on Instagram
Bitcoin (BTC) scam ads featuring the likeness of Martin Lewis have continued to appear on social media despite Lewis’ previous efforts to prevent such illegal practices.
After the British financial expert settled a defamation lawsuit against Facebook for showing unendorsed fake Lewis crypto ads in 2019, new scam adverts have now been spotted on Facebook-owned Instagram.
Reported by Twitter user @peterfinn5252 on Jan. 7, the scam Instagram ad shows Lewis’ face to promote a fake article pretending to be published by major British national daily tabloid The Mirror.
The fake article is titled “Martin Lewis Lends a Hand to British Families with Revolutionary Bitcoin Home Based Opportunity” and has already been red-flagged as it contains another crypto investment scam scheme.
Following the new scam alert, Lewis retweeted the post on Jan. 7 to warn users about the scam.
Fake Martin Lewis Bitcoin Scam Ad on Instagram. Source: Twitter
Lewis launched High Court proceedings against Facebook in April 2018
In April 2018, Lewis launched legal action against Facebook, accusing the social network of defamation related to deceptive cryptocurrency advertisements. At the time, Lewis claimed that the social networking giant has published more than 50 crypto-related ads with illicit use of his face and name to promote phoney financial products.
Eventually, Facebook reached a settlement with Lewis to launch a dedicated tool to report scam ads, donating 3 million British pounds ($3.9 million) to a Citizens Advice project to help tackle similar practices.
Facebook and Instagram banned crypto ads in 2018
Both Facebook and Instagram had previously introduced bans on crypto-related ads. In January 2018, Facebook updated its advertising policy, announcing that it prohibits ads that use “misleading or deceptive promotional practices” that contain ads of crypto and initial coin offerings.
However, the social media giant eased the ban in May 2019, around one month before releasing the white paper for its own cryptocurrency project, Libra, in June. This subsequently triggered a wave of fake Libra accounts on both Facebook and Instagram, as reported by Cointelegraph in July.