Martin Lewis is suing Facebook over allegations that it has published over 50 bogus advertisements that mention his name, the majority of which have been used to scam money out of some users.
On Monday, the founder of MoneySavingExpert lodged court papers at the High Court to file a defamation lawsuit against the social media giant.
He said that the legal action was the outcome of months of frustration with the scammers piggybacking on his reputation and preying on users of Facebook with get-rich-quick scams.
Lewis said: “Enough is enough. It’s about time Facebook took responsibility.
“This is about stopping Facebook facilitating the ripping off of vulnerable people and destroying my reputation at the same time.”
Lewis said that he was aware that a woman had lost £100,000 after being a victim of a bogus advertisement that was featuring his face.
He said: “The biggest problem I’ve got is some of these people think I’ve scammed them, so they won’t even talk to me to let me help them.
“These adverts are nothing to do with me. Facebook should not be running them. It’s morally culpable.”
The TV personality and journalist promised that if he wins any amount of money to cover damages, he will donate the money to charity.
He said that the action was not intended to win the defamation case itself but to urge the company to modify its policy on advertising.
He wants Facebook to introduce settings that will notify famous people every time their pictures are used in an advertisement, requiring their approval.
Lewis stated: “I hope to open up a legal remedy for other people who have found themselves in the same boat.
“I don’t do adverts. I’ve told Facebook that. Yet it simply continues to repeatedly publish these adverts and then relies on me to report them, once the damage has been done.
“I’ve got no idea how successful this legal action will be or how long it will take but I can’t sit back and let it (scamming) happen. I’m trying to give Facebook a bloody nose and actually get some changes made – or at least get people talking about this.”
Lewis said that he would be prepared to call a stop to the defamation claim once Facebook promises to tackle the problem on the scam ads.
Facebook stated: “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.
“We are in direct contact with his team, offering to help and promptly investigating their requests, and only last week confirmed that several adverts and accounts that violated our advertising policies had been taken down.”