Thailand’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) is threatening to take legal action to shut down Facebook if the platform doesn’t address the issue of fraudulent ads related to crypto and investment scams. On August 21, MDES revealed that over 200,000 people have fallen victim to scams advertised on Facebook, which included fake cryptocurrency investment opportunities and bogus businesses, as well as impersonations of government agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Scammers have been using various tactics, including advertising crypto investments with promises of daily returns as high as 30%. These ads often feature images of celebrities and financial experts to lure people in. MDES Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn mentioned that the ministry had reached out to Meta, the company that owns Facebook, about the issue but claimed that the platform has not been adequately screening its advertisers.
At a press conference on August 21, the ministry announced its intention to compile evidence against over 5,300 scam ads. If the situation is not resolved by the end of the month, MDES is prepared to ask a court to shut down Facebook within a week.
The ministry also issued a public warning about how these scams usually work. It cautioned people to be skeptical of promises for high or guaranteed returns and of ads featuring well-known personalities. It also advised consumers to be wary of investment offers that create a sense of urgency or offer limited-time deals, as well as those from businesses without verifiable information.