Facebook Libra scams offer to sell cryptocurrency before it even exists

Fake pages, websites and videos offering to the cryptocurrency are proliferating across Facebook, despite the new currency not launching until 2020.

Some sites being shared across the social network claim to offer ”early access” to the cryptocurrency, luring visitors to exchange money for Libra.

Other scammers are using the interest surrounding Facebook’s virtual currency to attempt to steal people’s personal information.

US senators also expressed their reservations about Libra to David Marcus, who is leading Facebook’s cryptocurrency team.

Democratic senator Sherrod Brown, the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, said: “Facebook has demonstrated through scandal after scandal that it doesn’t deserve our trust. We’d be crazy to give them a chance to let them experiment with people’s bank accounts.”

Mr Marcus said: “I know that we will have to earn people’s trust for a very long period of time to get them wanting to use [Libra].”

Some senators warned that the new cryptocurrency would be at risk of fraudsters and scammers when it launches, though none predicted that such would spread online before it even launched.

The fraudulent Facebook pages were first spotted by The Washington Post, whose investigation discovered a dozen accounts, pages and groups on Facebook and Instagram.

Many of the pages appear to still be operating, some with hundreds of Facebook users already signed up.

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