Facebook ads illegally promoting a debt relief scam seem to be all over the internet — and feature celebrity rapper and marijuana aficionado Snoop Dog
“If you owe $10,000 on your credit card, look. You can qualify for a program and get you thousands of your dollars back by making a 15-minute phone call,” he said in one video cited by Vice News. Debt Council claimed to be able to erase debt through a government loophole and paid $274,000 for ad campaigns on Facebook and Instagram, Vice News’ investigation explained. But there is no such government loophole.
In reality, Debt Council is a referral company claiming to match consumers with other debt relief firms.
But referral services often sell your contact information, which can then be used to market to you directly- or make sure that you get even more ads of similar ilk via social media platforms.
Rapper Jermaine Dupri has also done a video testimonial for Debt Council, according to Vice.
It appears that the artists may have created the videos through Cameo, a service that allows fans to pay for personalized messages from celebrities.
When Vice News alerted Facebook to the ads, Facebook flagged them for violating its policy for deceptive or misleading business practices and its rule against imagery of public figures to get people to buy into a scam.