As the Guardian magazine has revealed, there is a gigantic Bitcoin scam with false advertisements. Many victims come from Australia in particular. Facebook and Google are apparently hardly able to keep up with deleting the ads.
The British newspaper „The Guardian“ has really succeeded in making an investigative bang
As the magazine reports on its website, there is a Bitcoin Lifestyle scam of almost gigantic proportions. Photos of particularly well-known personalities in the respective country were misused for fake advertisements. In Australia, the most affected country, for example, Dick Smith and Andrew Forrest. In Germany, the fraudsters apparently advertised with the likeness of tennis legend Boris Becker. As the Guardian has revealed, the traces of this globally organized business lead to the center of Moscow.
Apparently, the spread of the scams is so high that Google struggled to block all affected ads. The Australian regulatory authorities could hardly keep up. Basically, the Guardian writes, the ads are older. However, the worldwide rampant COVID-19 pandemic ensured that many people stayed at home and surfed the Internet. Therefore, there was a sharp increase in clicks on the ads.
Clicking on one of these ads leads to a fake news story. There is a link on this pretending to be a cryptocurrency investment program. After registering, victims receive a phone call asking them to invest a small amount. Calls then follow with ever higher monetary claims. Some victims would have lost all of their savings. According to the Guardian, callers are pushing to invest in high-risk and unregulated forex trading platforms that have little chance of making a profit.
The Guardian has followed the trail as far as Moscow
When it comes to blocking such fraudulent ads, Google calls it a „game of cat and mouse“. The problem: the scammers try to bypass detection by repeatedly making small changes to the text of the ads. In addition, the scammers buy hundreds of domain names each month through various registration companies to host the pages that users are directed to.
Websites are often registered on third party companies to hide the real owners. However, Guardian Australia found five names of people who had registered hundreds of the websites in question. All of them had addresses in the center of Moscow, which makes it much more difficult for foreign regulators to access. Both Google and Facebook have already admitted that it is difficult for them to prevent such ads from running in real time.
Black sheep in the form of scammers appear again and again in the Bitcoin business, whose scam also works for at least a while. A particularly big fish hit the authorities with John Bigatton , the former head of the BitConnect pyramid system. Since some scams are absolutely film-ready, it is not surprising that Hollywood is also interested in illegal business .