Richard Branson of Virgin Group is speaking out about the fake bitcoin scam stories that impersonate him to scam people out of their money.
“Beware of fake Bitcoin scam stories” – By Richard Branson
Bitcoin-related online scams aren’t anything new, though using the name of the celebrities or well-known individuals surely seems to be the trend. Last month, BBC’s Dragon Den’s Deborah Meaden and Martin Lewis of MoneySavingExpert were used to dupe people out of their money.
The latest addition to this list is Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson who calls out to the bitcoin-related online scams that have been using his name to endorse their treachery.
Voicing out his concerns, he stated in a blog post titled “Beware of Fake Bitcoin Scams”:
“I have written several times warning people about the growing problem of fake stories online linking me to get-rich-quick schemes, fake pages, misleading ads, false endorsements, and fake binary trading schemes.”
Talking about the worrying fake stories currently surfacing online are the false endorsements of bitcoin trading schemes, he further added: “While I have often commented on the potential benefits of genuine bitcoin developments, I absolutely do not endorse these fake bitcoin stories.”
These fake articles often go with titles like “quitting your job and yours truly investing in bitcoin financial tech”, notices Branson, which is published by sites that impersonate renowned news outlets like CNN to look legitimate.
Be vigilant, use only legitimate sites
The British Magnate further explains: “You may come across these sites via links advertised on various social media sites and paid for ads. They link through to scam sites like Bitcoin Trader, and also feature fake endorsements by the likes of Bill Gates alongside myself.”
“Our legal teams work hard to take down these fake stories or companies misrepresenting us. In the last year we’ve dealt with hundreds of instances. We are doing all we can and the police also work tirelessly to shut down the major operations.” he informs his readers. They are also contacting the “social networks where the fake stories are being spread” and get them down along with “proactively stop them appearing in the first place.”
Richard asks people to be vigilant with “check you are only clicking through to legitimate sites, with official website addresses and verified social media accounts. A simple check to do is to see if the story you are reading comes from an official Virgin website.” He then adds, “my blog is here, on virgin.com, and all of my social networks are verified with blue ticks, so you can tell it is really me communicating with you.”
Recently, Martin Lewis also spoke out on the fake website using his name and photo to scam people. He even stated that he will take legal action against Facebook, on which the fake ads were published and accused the popular channel of lack of vigilance.
What do you think of the growing number of bitcoin scams impersonating famous people? What measures social media platforms like Facebook can take against these fake stories? Share your thoughts with us!