TechnologyBeware cryptocurrency scams: Warning as dozens of fake accounts claim to be selling Facebook's new Libra currency at a discount
With Libra, Facebook takes on the world of cryptocurrency
Facebook is leaping into the world of cryptocurrency with its own digital money, designed to let people save, send or spend money as easily as firing off text messages. "Libra" -- described as "a new global currency" -- was unveiled Tuesday in a new initiative in payments for the world's biggest social network with the potential to bring crypto-money out of the shadows and into the mainstream. Facebook and some two dozen partners released a prototype of Libra as an open source code to be used by developers interested in weaving it into apps, services or businesses ahead of a rollout as global digital money next year.
Dozens of fake accounts purporting to sell Facebook's unreleased cryptocurrency, Libra, have cropped up on the platform in a concerted scamming effort.
A report from thedetails dozens of accounts, pages, and groups, across both Facebook and Instagram claiming to be official outlets for buying the currency sometimes at a discount.
The accounts, reports the Post, are often times disguised using Facebook's official logos and other marketing materials, making them fairly convincing to unsuspecting users.
Dems pan 'Zuck buck,' want Facebook to rein in currency plan
WASHINGTON (AP) — Facebook endured a second day of criticism from Congress over its plan to create a digital currency as senior House Democrats asked Facebook to scale back the project and threatened legislation that would block big tech companies from getting into banking. Facebook's massive market power and its record of scandals, fines and privacy breaches were on trial at a hearing Wednesday of the House Financial Services Committee. Lawmakers from both parties insisted they cannot trust the social network giant. "I think you're pretty low on the trust spectrum right now, and understandably," Rep.
Targets of the scams are sometimes redirected to third-party sites such as BuyLibraCoins.com which, like the fraudulent Facebook accounts, bare the same official-looking branding and marketing materials of the platform.
The Washington Post notes that other sham websites include the almost indiscernibly similar Calìbra.com, which uses a special character instead of the 'i' in Facebook's official Libra website,.
While Libra scams have popped up on other Platforms, including Twitter and YouTube, some experts have been quick to note the significance of scams inadvertently allowed to proliferate via the company's home network.
Facebook's Calibra cryptocurrency wallet already has competition
ZenGo's wallet will support Libra, a cryptocurrency Facebook plans to launch in 2020.
'There is a deep irony here in Facebook being used as the platform that could undermine trust in the currency Facebook is trying to build trust in,' Cornell University economics professor Eswar Prasad told the Washington Post.
As noted by The Verge, other cryptocurrency scams have found their way onto the platform in the past, but those leveraging Libra come with particularly salient timing as lawmakers continue to press the company in a sometimes heated public forum.
'I don’t think you should launch Libra at all,' Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat from New York told a Facebook executive in one exchange.
Among the major concerns voiced by regulators are privacy, stability, and its potential use in money laundering and terrorism.
In response to the Washington Post's report, Facebook offered a brief statement.
'Facebook removes ads and pages that violate our policies when we become aware of them, and we are constantly working to improve detection of scams on our platforms,' a company spokesperson told the outlet.
International banks to scrutinize Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency.
The digital currency will face questions from regulators.
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