Bitcoin scammers are still using celebrities images to sponsor their scams on Facebook and obtain money from uneducated investors. Recent news has pointed at Australian TV hosts, Karl Stefanovic and Waleed Aly as the new names to the long list of celebrities whose profiles have been used to promote these scams.
Scammers playing with celebrities’ reputations
Scammers are creating false campaigns on Facebook and then promoting their post to increase the range and commitment on the platform. Campaigns usually include the endorsement by a celebrity to a specific cryptocurrency. Most of the time they lead investors to make a small initial investment for a few hundreds of dollars. After Facebook pages are created, scammers pay the platform for promotion to their ads. Looking to get as most exposure they can to rip off more innocent investors.
After a few complaints were made to Facebook, the company said there wasn’t any violation of their terms and conditions. The complaints were rejected and the platform claimed the ads as acceptable, according to this report. Such decision contradicts their guidelines that don’t allow “deceptive, false, or misleading content, including deceptive claims, offers, or business practices.”
This is not the first time it has occurred. In 2017 scammers used names and profiles of famous entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk, Richard Branson and Bill Gates to spread their false campaigns. Australian reporters Deborah Knight and Georgie Gardner were also targets in the past.
Social media platforms need to be vigilant
Social media has proven to be popular among scammers in the past. A clear example is Twitter, when they finally took measures against cryptocurrency scammers and banned their fake profiles last year. It’s not surprising that high-profile individuals are being targeted by scammers hoping to leverage the influence their potential endorsement would bring to a project – whether illicit or otherwise. What is perhaps most troubling is knowing that scammers are able to set up fake campaigns with relative ease and that some sections of the population are seemingly willing to part with their funds without prior research.