Police in Derbyshire, England, have warned residents about a Bitcoin scam making the rounds on social media claiming to be endorsed by top UK celebrities.
Bitcoin scammers on the prowl
Despite the recent slump in the price of Bitcoin, scammers remain very much interested in enriching their wallets with ill-gotten cryptos.
In the latest development, law enforcement agents have warned Derbyshire residents to be cautious of a trending Bitcoin scam claiming to be endorsed former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson and Simon Cowell, the notoriously curmudgeonly judge on Britain’s Got Talent and X Factor.
The scam, dubbed “Bitcoin Revolution,” uses quotes purportedly made by popular celebs to place ads on Facebook and other platforms, in a bid to deceive people into parting with their hard-earned money.
In the case of Jeremy Clarkson, his fake endorsement claims that Bitcoin Revolution “has been growing at over 2,400% this year alone” and that it has been the “greatest investment” he has ever made.
Similarly, Simon Cowell, whose likeness has been used in this and other Bitcoin scams for over a year, is supposedly making bank on his investment, earning profits of more than 630% which is – according to the fake ad – “much bigger than anything [he] has made before.”
Cowell’s fake ad goes one step further, however, going so far as to imply that Clarkson bought part of the company.
“I missed out on the Bitcoin Revolution investment,” the ad reads, “as its entrepreneurs decided to go with Jeremy.”
Not surprisingly, both men have categorically denied any involvement with Bitcoin Revolution.
Clarkson told This is Money, “I have absolutely no knowledge of this company. It is a scam.”
For Cowell’s part, he has previously taken legal action against Bitcoin scammers using his name and image without permission but it is unknown if he plans to do so this go-around.
Celebrity-impersonating Bitcoin scams on the rise
Pauline Smith, director of Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting center, said the number of fake cryptocurrency scheme impersonating celebrities is quite startling.
As reported by Micky, last month a West Australian woman lost $670,000 in a cryptocurrency scam after Australian businessman Andrew Forrest’s image was used to promote the fraud on Facebook.
Just a few days later, reports emerged about a Bitcoin Ponzi scheme that was being promoted using UK celebrity Kate Winslet’s image.
In June, the Bitcoin Revolution scam targeted Australian X-men actor Hugh Jackman in fake ads where the star purportedly claimed that he was retiring from acting to “pursue his recent $50 million investment” in Bitcoin.
But these scams are just the tip of the iceberg. In May, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) revealed that UK consumers had lost nearly $35 million to crypto and forex investment scams in 2018 and 2019.
“These figures are startling and provide a stark warning that people need to be wary of fake investments on online trading platforms,” Smith cautioned.
The director also emphasized the need for people to carry out due diligence to ensure that a potential investment is legitimate.
Mark Steward, a member of the Executive Committee at the FCA, also made it clear that investors must be wary of crypto-powered investment schemes promising very high returns that are too good to be true.
“Before investing online, find out how to protect yourself from scams by visiting the ScamSmart website – and if in doubt – don’t invest,” Steward added.