The Guardian exposes bitcoin scam with fake celebrity photos

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The Guardian exposes bitcoin scam with fake celebrity photos

As revealed by the Guardian magazine, there is a bitcoin scam of gigantic proportions involving false advertisements. Many victims are coming from Australia in particular. Facebook and Google are apparently barely keeping up with deleting the ads.

The British newspaper „The Guardian“ has really managed to make an investigative splash. As the magazine reports on its website, there is a Bitcoin scam of almost gigantic proportions. Photos of particularly well-known personalities in the respective country were misused for fake advertisements. In Australia, the country most affected, these were Dick Smith and Andrew Forrest, for example. In Germany, the fraudsters Bitcoin Evolution platform apparently advertised with the likeness of tennis legend Boris Becker. As the Guardian has uncovered, the traces of this globally organised business lead to the centre of Moscow.

Apparently, the scale of the spread of the scams is so high that Google has had difficulty blocking all the ads involved. Australian regulators, too, could hardly keep up. Basically, writes the Guardian, the ads are older. However, the COVID 19 pandemic, which was rampant worldwide, caused many people to stay at home and surf the internet. As a result, there has been a surge in clicks on the ads.

Clicking on one of these ads leads to a fake news report. This contains a link pretending to be a cryptocurrency investment programme. After registering, victims receive a phone call asking them to invest a small amount of money. This is then followed by calls demanding more and more money. Some victims have lost their entire savings as a result. According to the Guardian, the callers urge people to invest in high-risk and unregulated forex trading platforms where the chances of making a profit are slim.

The Guardian has traced trail to Moscow

In an effort to block such fraudulent ads, Google calls it a „cat and mouse game“. The problem is that the fraudsters try to evade detection by repeatedly making small changes to the text of the ads. In addition, the scammers buy hundreds of domain names every month through various registration companies to host the sites to which users are redirected.

Websites are often registered to third-party companies to hide the true owners. However, Guardian Australia found five names of people who had registered hundreds of the websites in question. All had addresses in central Moscow, making access much more difficult for foreign regulators. Both Google and Facebook have already admitted that it is difficult for them to prevent such ads from being served in real time.

Time and again, black sheep appear in the Bitcoin business in the form of scammers, whose scam also works, at least for a while. The authorities caught a particularly big fish in the form of John Bigatton, the former head of the BitConnect pyramid scheme. Since some of the scams are absolutely worthy of being filmed, it is not surprising that Hollywood is also interested in the illegal business.

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