As revealed by the Guardian magazine, there is a Bitcoin scam of gigantic proportions with 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 truly achieved an investigative bang for its buck. As the magazine reports on its website, there is a Financial Peak of almost gigantic proportions. Photos of particularly well-known personalities in the respective country were misused for fake advertisements. In Australia, as the most affected country, these were Dick Smith and Andrew Forrest, for example. In Germany, the fraudsters apparently advertised with the likeness of tennis legend Boris Becker. As the Guardian has uncovered, the traces of this globally organized business lead to the center 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 were also having a hard time keeping up. Basically, writes the Guardian, the ads are older. However, the COVID 19 pandemic, which was rampant worldwide, had 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. On it, there is a link pretending to be a cryptocurrency investment program. After registering, victims receive a phone call asking them to invest a small amount of money. This is then followed by calls asking for more and more money. Some victims have lost their entire life savings as a result, he said. 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 to none.
The Guardian has traced trail to Moscow
In its effort to block such fraudulent ads, Google calls it a „cat and mouse game.“ The problem: The scammers 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 out 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.
Black sheep in the form of scammers keep popping up in the Bitcoin business, and their scam also works, at least for a while. A particularly big fish was caught by the authorities 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.