Six US senators call Mark Zuckerberg’s attention: “Meta is a breeding ground for crypto scams”
Six US senators call Mark Zuckerberg’s attention: “Meta is a breeding ground for crypto scams”

Six US senators call Mark Zuckerberg’s attention: “Meta is a breeding ground for crypto scams”

By Eliano Martellucci - 12 Sep 2022

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Six US senators are aware that all of Meta’s social networks represent a breeding ground for crypto scams. 

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp under US senators’ scrutiny because of crypto scams

Given past events, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp have been the main means used by scammers to spread numerous scams in the crypto world.

Because of the widespread misinformation that still characterizes the cryptocurrency industry, many scammers have been ingenious in deceiving as many people as possible. 

More often than not, these are hackers and experts who, increasingly, know how to hide fraud behind a beautiful graphical interface, catchy, technical language, and promises that make those who read them daydream. 

They understand the psychological weaknesses of the human being and leverage these to be able to lure the poor unfortunate without the latter noticing. 

It all becomes an illusion, a short-lived magical path that misguides those who stumble upon it until they wake up, the moment they learn that they have just been scammed. 

Moreover, it is a very technical ecosystem in itself, a factor due to the complexity behind how blockchain technology works. As a result, putting all the pieces of the puzzle together, in most cases it is the scammers who get the upper hand.

In relation to scams in recent years, it can be seen that the main means of promotion and dissemination exploited have been Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. 

The three social media platforms are all part of the large Meta parent company and should be considered among the most widely used in the world. In recent years, they have often been blamed for mismanagement and intentional manipulation of fake news, as in the famous Cambridge Analytica case. 

This time, however, it’s about the savings of users who power Meta’s wasteful machine every day, and because of that, Mark Zuckerberg’s attention has been drawn. 

crypto scam
Lawmakers are increasingly concerned about the spread of crypto scammers on Meta’s social networks

Senators demand answers from Mark Zuckerberg on the spread of crypto scams 

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta and the world’s youngest billionaire, is somehow responsible for what happens on the platforms he owns.

The six US senators in question are Robert Menendez, Sherrod Brown, Elizabeth Warren, Dianne Feinstein, Bernard Sanders and Cory A. Booker.

On Thursday, the lawmakers sent a letter to Zuckerberg where they express their concern and ask for clarification about the company’s policy on handling crypto scams and how it strives to combat them. 

The contents of the letter

Also based on data recently published by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the senators write:

“We are concerned that Meta provides a breeding ground for cryptocurrency fraud that causes significant harm to consumers.

While crypto scams are prevalent across social media, several of Meta’s sites are particularly popular hunting grounds for scammers. Among consumers who reported being scammed out of cryptocurrency on a social media website, 32% identified the scam as having originated on Instagram, 26% on Facebook, and 9% on WhatsApp.”

In addition, the lawmakers specifically asked seven questions within the letter and request a detailed response by 24 October.

  1. For each of the three platforms considered, belonging to Meta, the questions include:
  2. how the company identifies crypto scammers;
  3. how it plans to remove scams once found;
  4. how they educate and warn users about crypto scams;
  5. how they plan to assist victims of fraudulent crypto schemes;
  6. how they distinguish advertising scam schemes from legitimate ones;
  7. what regulatory licenses are required to do promotional activities on its platforms;
  8. to what extent Meta collaborates with law enforcement to track down scammers.

In reference to the last point on the list, US market and stock exchange regulators are also working to protect the investor from these sad cases, which unfortunately, hold back innovation in the industry itself

Among the most recurrent schemes used by scammers, one that exploits the so-called “Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)” has been identified. The critical factor in this strategy is the limited time one has to seize an unmissable opportunity. This spreads a sense of urgency and confusion in the user’s head, who ends up acting without reasoning. 

Eliano Martellucci

Eliano has a bachelor's degree in Economics and Business Administration and is about to complete his master's studies in Finance at the University of Trento (UNITN). He got hooked on the crypto and blockchain world during the summer of 2017 and has not left it since then. He currently works as editor & SEO specialist at Cryptonomist, writes articles and invests, both in Blue Chip and early stage assets. Furthermore, he is working on his latest thesis project entitled: "A Study on crypto market Sentiment Analysis through Machine Learning algorithms in python."

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