Facebook launches scam detection tool following Money Saving Expert lawsuit

Josh Hall's picture

Facebook has unveiled a new tool intended to help stem the rise of online scams on the platform.

The tool allows users to report suspected scams, with flagged items being investigated by a specially trained team.

It also includes a national helpline run in partnership with Citizens Advice, offering help to those affected by online scams. Additional one-to-one support will be available for those who have fallen into financial hardship as a result of these activities.

The helpline was established following a lawsuit brought by Money Saving Expert head Martin Lewis.

Lewis sued Facebook for defamation after finding dozens of scam content using his likeness.

He agreed to drop the lawsuit in exchange for Facebook making a £3 million donation to Citizens Advice to tackle the problem.

Commenting on the launch, Lewis said: "The UK faces an epidemic of online scam ads - they're everywhere.

"Yet disgracefully there's little effective law or regulation to prevent them, and official enforcement is poor to non-existent, as these criminals are usually based outside of the EU.

"That's why I sued for defamation, bizarrely the only law I could find to try to make big tech firms understand the damage their negligent behaviour has caused.

"Today should be the start of real improvement. The aim is to tap the power of what I'm dubbing 'social policing' to fight these scams.

"Millions of people know a scam when they see it, and millions of others don't.

"So now, I'd ask all who recognise them to use the new Facebook reporting tool, to help protect those who don't - which includes many who are vulnerable.

"Facebook's new dedicated team will then hopefully respond quickly to ditch the scammers."

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