In brief

  • A Qatari billionaire and former wife of Janet Jackson is suing Facebook over a crypto scam.
  • The crypto scam used the billionaire's likeness to push its product.
  • Similar scams have also used faces of celebrities to market their company.

A Qatari billionaire and former wife of pop-star Janet Jackson is suing Facebook’s Dublin office over concerns that his likeness was used to push a cryptocurrency product, which he considers a scam.

Wissam Al Mana sought an injunction from the High Court against Facebook last week, The Times reported on Sunday. Al Mana’s company, Al Mana Group, employs over 3,500 people across the Middle East. The company has exclusive rights to luxury brands such as Dior Homme and Balenciaga; highstreet brands HMV and Zara; and the McDonald’s franchise for Qatar.

The report doesn’t state the crypto scam that allegedly uses Al Mana’s reputation to push its product, but similar scams have manufactured celebrity endorsements to con customers out of their money. The thinking: If a popular celebrity endorses a cryptocurrency project, it must be a good way to invest your money. 

Scammers have fraudulently claimed that movie star Kate Winslett endorsed a project called Bitcoin Code, an automatic trading program that promises to win trades with 99.4% accuracy. The advertisement encouraged people to invest $250 into the project. At the time, a spokesperson for Winslett told The Mirror, “This misleading promotion is completely disingenuous and categorically false.”

And scammers have also claimed that Sir Alex Ferguson, former manager of soccer team Manchester United, pushed a Bitcoin scam called Bitcoin Revolution, which offers a similar trading bot.

Facebook might start to regret lifting its ban on crypto ads.