Scam Bitcoin Site Impersonates New Zealand’s Richest Man
A fraudulent bitcoin website is parading with the pictures of Graeme Richard Hart, the richest person in New Zealand to give people the false impression that he is an advocate of the platform. Also, articles on the scam website have the branding of the New Zealand Herald, a daily newspaper, according to an NZ Herald report on May 9, 2019.
Fake Bitcoin Website Campaigns with Richard Hart’s Pictures
Per the report, a scam bitcoin website is using pictures of Graeme Richard Hart to run its ads campaigns without his permission, in a bid to deceive and ultimately defraud investors.
The platform’s advert has been publicized on various social media platforms to garner more investors and it claims Richard Hart is an investor in the scheme.
On clicking the advert’s link, it leads to a website whose articles have fake quotes from the New Zealand businessman on his investment in bitcoin. A record of bitcoin transactions supposedly carried out by the billionaire has also been displayed on the website.
Bitcoin Thieves use NZ Herald’s Branding
More attempts to trick potential investors is the addition of the NZ Herald’s branding on a number of articles on the site in order to give people the impression that Hart was also featured on the national newspaper.
According to the media outlet, the claims in the articles are untrue and the deceptive platform is neither affiliated to NZ Herald nor Hart. Steps are also being taken to shut down the ads.
Reportedly, the scheme is not the first scam of this nature but one in a series usually targeted at obtaining the credit card details of unsuspecting investors.
A similar scenario occurred last year where the face of Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister was used to perpetrate a bitcoin scam and encourage New Zealanders to invest in the “new investment plan for Kiwis” that holds a promise of high returns.
The fraudulent scheme also featured CNN‘s logo as well as the byline and the Twitter handle of Seth Fiegerman, a respected US-based tech reporter who has since refuted the claims.
Commenting on the matter, Martin Cocker, Netsafe chief executive, reportedly said that unlawful activities of fraudsters have been made easier by ad targeting tools on social media platforms like as they are accessible to both legitimate and fraudulent businesses.
Cocker also stated that scammers have become more sophisticated in the development of online scams making it hard for investors to easily identify fraudulent schemes.
In a bid to curb this menace, people have been advised against entering their credit card details on websites that look suspicious, or generally, too good to be true.
Of recent, various means have been devised to illegally obtain cryptocurrencies from people. On May 3, 2019, BTCManager reported that scammers had started impersonating Social Security Administrators to solicit funds from people.
On May 1, 2019, BTCManager informed of CipherTrace’s report which shows that over $1.2 billion has been lost to cryptocurrency scams in the first quarter of the year.