Personal finance guru Martin Lewis has repeatedly complained to social media platforms about his face being used without permission for fake adverts.
One of the most recent examples spotted on X, formerly Twitter, shows Lewis's face with the caption: "Martin Lewis has revealed the best money-making tip that every UK resident can boast about."
It's been up since 1 December and has had over 200,000 views. The account itself 'Nydia Skincare / Beauty' was only set up in August with just four followers and appears to have paid for a blue tick for alleged verification.
Multiple people in the comments below have said they've reported the ad, but it was still up as of Monday afternoon.
This, Lewis says, raises serious concerns about X's ability to police scammers on its platform, with users left to take matters into their own hands by using the Community Notes feature in many cases.
Martin Lewis urges billpayers to claim from £8bn pot (The Independent)
One of the most recent example of these posts, which appear to lure people in with promises of Lewis revealing a "money-making tip" that only "7% of UK residents know about".
The post's thumbnail links back to what appears to be an Australia-based website for technology and finance news. Yahoo News has contacted the site.
It's not clear what the intention of the post really is, but either way, it isn't delivering on what it's advertising and is using Lewis's name, face and reputation without his permission.
As he has said in the past, he "doesn't do ads", warning that any you see online featuring him in any way are bound to be fake.
One user commenting underneath the post said "second ad I've seen with your pic in 5 mins", with many others saying they'd reported it – seemingly in vain.
Martin, seems like X has merely added community notes to some of those scam posts instead of y'know, actually taking them down. It's not good enough. Is X still taking money from these advertisers? Hope you keep pushing them on this. pic.twitter.com/eFp6BVEllV
— Ben D 🕺 (@BeeBeeGeeG) November 30, 2023
Just a few days earlier, Lewis flagged another post on X showing him in front of a backdrop of Christmas presents wrapped up in giant £20 notes, with a caption reading: "Martin Lewis Best Money Making Tip for Christmas 2023 revealed."
Using the Community Notes feature – set up after Elon Musk's takeover of X to allow users to flag inaccuracies themselves – contributors wrote: "This ad is for a scam.
"Martin Lewis does not do ads and has warned of scammers using his image without consent to trick people."
The advert, posted on 1 December, came from a user with a paid-for blue checkmark and was still up as of Monday.
Suggesting X's users are being left to police fraudulent posts, Lewis wrote: "UNBELIEVABLE. Dear @elonmusk not sure you're aware that reader's notes are being put on scams. I know you're used in scam ads just like me. Can I ask, do you approve of this method of policing?
"Can X please delete and ban scammers. I'm sure you don't want their dirty money for this paid promotion. Please can you look at your policy on this, to help protect vulnerable users."
Watch: Martin Lewis shares the best savings account with highest interest
Tips from Martin Lewis on how to spot scam adverts online
Lewis and MoneySavingExpert have shared details on the types of scams and misleading posts they've had to deal with, some of which have seen people lose thousands of pounds.
In a YouTube video posted six years ago, Lewis says: "I'm afraid to tell you there's a host of dodgy companies, whether scam firms, misleading firms or name-alike firms, that are trying to leech of the hard-earned reputation of me and this website to sell you things with an implied recommendation, which is an absolute unmitigated lie.
"I never do Facebook adverts, if you see them, they are not true. If I ever did allow my name to be given for something, it would usually be a charity and I would always insist that there was a link back to an article on MoneySavingExpert.com that explained it."
This video was six years ago, which really hits home how much the problem on social media platforms has persisted.
Earlier this year, Lewis warned of a chilling “deepfake” video of him surfaced of him on X showing him promoting an investment app on breakfast TV.
MoneySavingExpert tells its readers: "Don't just take what these false advertisers say at face value," advising them to check on their website to see what it thinks about a particular subject.
It also advises people to double check the URL when they visit a site - Does it look like it could be a fraudulent copy of a legitimate website. You can find more advice here.