A Bitcoin scam advertisement features the false endorsement of John Key, the former prime minister of New Zealand.
The frenzy of Bitcoin mania has abated quite a bit since the bear market took hold in early 2018. However, that doesn’t mean that a significant number of people still look to cryptocurrency as a means of quickly getting rich. Such gullible people can eventually find themselves to be a victim of a Bitcoin scam artist.
One of the most popular ways to separate people from their money via a crypto scam is to use fake ads that feature a famous person endorsing the scam. The latest such scheme features the former prime minister of New Zealand, John Key.
Bitcoin Scam Targets Kiwis
One of the fascinating things about such crypto scams is how they’re tailored to a specific geographic region and audience. People living in Europe and North America do not know who John Key is, but those living in Australia and New Zealand do.
The scam consists of an ad that supposedly features former New Zealand Prime Minister John Key endorsing a Bitcoin investment. The ad features Key touting his enthusiasm for Bitcoin and links to a site run by a company called Crypto Revolt. The ad imitates a well-known business periodical but is actually fraudulent. It was eventually taken down after some sharp-eyed viewers thought it looked suspicious.
Sadly, this is not the first Bitcoin scam rodeo for John Key. His image had been used in a scam found on Twitter and Facebook a couple of years ago. In that scam campaign, the ads were designed to look like a popular newspaper where Key touted Bitcoin. The fake ad had him saying:
I purchased a mere $1000 and followed the bitcoin loophole system, and now seven years later my $1000 investment is worth $300 million. It’s funny to think how that $1000 has grown to become my biggest asset.
Fake Endorsements Abound
John Key is not alone in having his name and image used in a Bitcoin scam. For New Zealand, other fake ads featured TV personality Hayley Holt and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
The most notable crypto scam campaign using a famous person is the one featuring Elon Musk on Twitter. It seems that this particular scam just refuses to die. Katy Perry is another major celebrity whose name and image has been used to fleece people.
One celebrity has fought back by suing the platform that the fake ads ran on. Martin Lewis created the popular Money Saving Expert website. He found that a lot of people were losing their hard-earned money to a crypto scam campaign running on Facebook that used his name and image. Lewis decided to sue Facebook for running the ads without vetting them. Of the use of his face and name to rip people off, he says:
This is a constant flood, though the number of ads involving my face appear to have dropped. Once the ones featuring me began to disappear, others started to appear. They’re about a scam feeling warm and cuddly with a well-known and trust face.
People ask me if the products being advertised are any good but the ads are just a scam! There’s nothing to them. People need to be very careful because some have lost life-changing amounts of money.
It adds credibility to the scams being on these kinds of social media platforms. People would expect them to be doing their due diligence when it comes to the ads they feature, but evidently they are not.
In the end, such scams can easily be avoided. If the rewards sound too good to be true, then they are. The problem is that too many people are not knowledgeable about cryptocurrency and think they can get rich overnight with no problem.
Have you ever fallen for a Bitcoin scam that featured a famous person? Let us know in the comments below.