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British TV commentator sues Facebook over ‘scam’ ads

A personal finance expert who appears regularly on British television launched legal action on Monday against Facebook, claiming it had published more than 50 fake posts bearing his name last year.

Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert, lodged a defamation lawsuit against the US-based social network over the ads published last year, many of which were used to scam money out of people.

Lewis said he would donate any damages to charity and hoped the case would set a precedent for similar fake celebrity endorsements.

“I’ve had enough of this. It’s affecting my reputation, but more importantly it is affecting real people who are handing over money in good faith while the scammers are raking in the cash,” he said.

“There are customers who have lost a lot of money. Some of them won’t even talk to me because they’ve seen my face on the advert and think it’s me who has scammed them,” he said.

“I hope to open up a legal remedy for other people who have found themselves in the same boat,” he said.

Facebook has denied Lewis’s assertion that these types of false endorsements on adverts are widespread.

“We do not allow adverts which are misleading or false on Facebook and have explained to Martin Lewis that he should report any adverts that infringe his rights and they will be removed,” the company said in a statement.

The company said in relation to Lewis’s case that “several adverts and accounts” that violated Facebook’s advertising policies have already been taken down.

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