New Zealand TV host unwittingly caught up in Facebook Bitcoin scam

New Zealand TV host unwittingly caught up in Facebook Bitcoin scam

Duncan Garner, a popular TV show host in New Zealand, says his name and image is being used in Bitcoin scam ads on Facebook.

The host of The AM Show set the record straight this week, stating in no uncertain terms that he has no part in any of the Bitcoin scam ads running on the social media platform.

Not involved in Bitcoin scam

On Monday, Garner told his viewers that a series of fraudulent ads for both cars and the world’s foremost cryptocurrency had been using his name and likeness for promotion without his knowledge or consent.

“Can I say now publicly that’s not me on Facebook pumping up Bitcoin and fancy cars and wealth schemes. It’s not me.”

Responding to some good-natured ribbing from co-host Amanda Gillies, he again denied his involvement, saying: “It’s not me. They’re not my cars, I don’t do Bitcoin – I don’t do any of that ‘coin.'”

In fact, Garner went on to say that he had not been on Facebook for at least “a couple of years.”

Duncan Garner
Duncan Garner (The AM Show)

Garner spoke to Police Commissioner John Edwards on his show about online scams and protecting one’s data, which is especially pertinent given that the New Zealand government revealed last Sunday that a serious digital privacy breach had occurred that saw data from passports, birth certificates, and drivers’ licenses exposed to the hackers.

As for the Bitcoin scam ads running on Facebook using Duncan Warner’s name, the police and the Ministry for Cultural Heritage are investigating.

Fake ‘celebrity-endorsed’ crypto scams on the rise

The sad reality is that Duncan Garner is not the only public figure who has had their name or likeness used to promote some sort of cryptocurrency scam.

A good number of celebrities and politicians have found themselves in similar circumstances.

Earlier this year, former prime minister of New Zealand, Sir John Key, had his name and likeness used in a Bitcoin scam where he supposedly was earning thousands of dollars a day from his “investment.”

The wife of Kiwi rugby star Sonny Bill Williams was also used to tout the riches that could be earned from a Bitcoin scam.

Even the silver screen’s Wolverine, Hugh Jackman, is not immune to this situation as his name was used in a crypto scam wherein he supposedly gave up acting due to making so much money from his “investment” in cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin scam
Bitcoin scam using Hugh Jackman to lure in victims.

These cryptocurrency scams pop up across social media, but Facebook has been a key platform for them to ply their schemes to the unwary.

Facebook had once banned all advertisements for cryptocurrencies but later relaxed that ban, most likely due to the development of their own Libra crypto.

It has been sued several times for allowing fake Bitcoin ads to use the name and likeness of celebrities.

Martin Lewis, a UK-based consumer advice expert, sued the social media giant in 2018 over fake crypto ads, and he eventually dropped his lawsuit when Facebook agreed to create an anti-scam project and fund it to the tune of US$3.8 million.

The man who created the Big Brother TV franchise, John de Mol, also sued Facebook over Bitcoin scam ads, which managed to take in $1.9 million from victims, that used his name and likeness.

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