Last month, Martin Lewis issued High Court proceedings against Facebook after his name and photo was used to scam vulnerable people out of thousands of pounds.
The MoneySavingExpert founder’s decision to sue came after he’d received numerous complaints from Facebook users who said they’d invested in schemes that he appeared to have backed.
What these Facebook users didn’t know is that although the schemes they’d invested in claimed to be supported by Martin Lewis, in reality he was not associated with them in any way.
Many Facebook users first learnt about the schemes through Facebook ads using Martin Lewis’ name, photo and reputation.
The founder – who is also a TV presenter and mental health campaigner – had repeatedly asked Facebook to remove all adverts bearing his image without his consent, but little action was taken and the ads kept appearing.
As a result, in April he took the social media platform to court for defamation and to seek exemplary damages, with the intention of donating any money received to anti-scam charities.
Over the course of 12 months, Facebook had published more than 50 fake Martin Lewis adverts which could be seen by millions of people in the UK.
Some of the scam adverts promised to help people increase their income with as little as “£180 and an internet connection”.
Others promoted BitCoin as an easy way for people to quit their jobs and make up to £450 a day from home.
Some adverts warned of a 2018 financial crash and included completely false quotes from Martin Lewis on how to stay safe financially.
Martin Lewis said: “Enough is enough. I’ve been fighting for over a year to stop Facebook letting scammers use my name and face to rip off vulnerable people – yet it continues. I feel sick each time I hear of another victim being conned because of trust they wrongly thought they were placing in me. One lady had over £100,000 taken from her.”
The personal finance expert went on to explain that he doesn’t do adverts and any advert with his name or picture on is completely fake and has been published without his permission.
He added: “I asked Facebook not to publish them, or at least to check their legitimacy with me before publishing. This shouldn’t be difficult – after all, it’s a leader in face and text recognition. Yet it simply continues to repeatedly publish these adverts and then relies on me to report them, once the damage has been done.”