Facebook rolls out anti-scam reporting tool in UK

UK TV celebrity Martin Lewis was all smiles this week after a five-month alliance with Facebook to crack down on scam ads finally bore fruit.

The company has coughed up £3m (around US $3.7m) to help support anti-scam services as well as introducing a tool to report scam ads on the UK version of the site.

Lewis, a TV presenter and journalist who advises people on financial issues, sued Facebook in April 2018 after scammers used his name in fake ads on the platform to con people out of their money. He settled with the company in January 2019, recouping his legal fees and persuading it to donate £3m to Citizens Advice and create a new scam ad reporting tool.

Facebook made good on that promise this week.

One man lost £19,000 ($23,500), he recalled. A woman who was looking after her orphaned grandchildren put the money that was aside for them into one of these fake schemes and lost everything. They all blamed him, even though he had nothing to do with the ads.

This week Facebook launched a button on its UK site to report scam ads. This lets click the three dots ‘. . .‘ on the top right of an ad and then select the ‘Report Ad‘ function, followed by ‘Misleading or scam ad‘. Then, they have to confirm that they want to send a detailed scam report. Hopefully, if successful, this will roll out to other markets.

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The £3m went to a new Citizens Advice service called Citizens Advice Scam Action (CASA), of which Lewis says:

Its is to fight scams, prevent them, and give one-on-one help to victims.

This is an unquestionable win for Lewis, who had his name hijacked and reputation damaged and took on a multinational corporation to try and make things right. He spent $100,000 facing the social media giant down in court and turned the whole thing into something positive that will help consumers. More power to him.

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