Hackers and scammers often find different ways to try and entice vulnerable individuals to invest in fake scams, to the cost sometimes not only of the vulnerable public.
Founder of the Virgin Group Richard Branson has fallen prey as a victim of cyberscams – or rather the image of the CEO has – through false advertisements from scammers who use his image to lure investors.
Branson announced a word of warning on his business’s blog platform that bitcoin scam artists have been using his name and that he does not advocate bitcoin trading schemes.
Branson wrote that he has “written several times warning people about the growing problem of fake stories online linking [him] to get-rich-quick schemes, fake pages, misleading ads, false endorsements and fake binary trading schemes” and that some of the “regular and worrying fake stories currently spreading online are false endorsements of bitcoin trading schemes.”
Branson has been explicit in his interest in cryptocurrency before and admits that he has “commented on the potential benefits of genuine bitcoin developments” but urges that he “absolutely [does] not endorse these fake bitcoin stories”.
The business magnate confirms that teams dedicated to try and shut down these scams and eradicate fraudulent stories of his endorsement are in place and that every effort is being made to tackle the issue. These endeavors include contacting the platforms on which the fake stories are found as well as working with law enforcement. However, the issue is one which has persisted for years and over several platforms.
Virgin’s Branson is not the only prominent figure to fall prey to this problem. Martin Lewis recently filed a lawsuit against giant social media company Facebook for issues of a similar nature, and Twitter has seen the likes of Elon Musk, Litecoin’s Charlie Lite victimized by scammers and even the official accounts of cryptocurrencies have been hacked in attempts to gain funds from susceptible users.
Branson, like others, offers words of caution to users in the regards of advertisements- whether fraudulent or legitimate – saying that they “would advise everyone to remain vigilant. Check you are only clicking through to legitimate sites, with official website addresses and verified social media accounts.”