It has come to our attention that fake (spoofed) websites are now promoting Bitcoin Get-Rich-Quick schemes by using fake news tactics. This new and alarming development is gaining momentum in the cryptocurrency as well as medicinal cannabis scene. It seems advertisers with deep pockets will do anything to attract new investors, and such is the case with at least three new schemes our researchers were able to uncover. In all cases the fake news sites are used in an extremely deceptive and misleading manner. Celebrities such as Piers Morgan, Gordon Ramsay, Elon Musk, Richard Branson, the cast of the Dragon’s Den, Shark Tank, Australian TV presenters Karl Stefanovic and Waleed Aly, and also politicians such asTharman Shanmugaratnam orBjarniBenediktsson.
Ways and Means
Customers are being siphoned off through fake social media profiles on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and even through Skype. More traditional acquisition channels are SPAM email marketing and various pop up advertisements which are purchased in the thousands and create a massive wave of interest and hype.
The big money comes from offshore Forex and CFD brokers who prefer to let the online promoters, media agencies, and affiliate networks do the dirty work while they stay legally insulated claiming third party terms and conditions.
Rotating Scams and Production Line Websites
Viewers searching for an “easy way to generate money using Bitcoin” will stumble upon a few “unconventional” website as well as paid advertisements on Google or Facebook. Despite the recent backlash in regards to allowing scams to operate freely, these two giants are not about to let this cash cow slip through their fingers. So when we started digging in we noticed three or four schemes that keep popping up. The first is named Bitcoin Revolution, and it has nothing to do with Bitcoin market rates. The second is named Bitcoin Rush, which is actually a cloned version of the Bitcoin Revolution. The third one is named Crypto Crash Fortune, but it has nothing to do with fortune magazine or for that matter any type of fortune besides the one which is generated for the scammers. The last scheme is named Cannabis Millionaire, and it also uses the same tactics to promote fake cannabis stocks.
The Common Denominator
All of these schemes have a common motif, and that is the promise of gaining free access to an exclusive club of new Bitcoin millionaires who are now debt free and live the “laptop lifestyle” working only 15 minutes a day and generating profits on auto pilot.
A Solemn Ending
The end result is all but too well known. The customers are left with an empty wallet while the scammers get paid referral money for their efforts.