Malta’s Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, is the latest notable personality to be impersonated as part of a Bitcoin scam. In recent times, everyone from actors to company executives and even politicians has seen their images used to trick people into investing in fraudulent cryptocurrency schemes.
Details of the Scam
According to Independent, a suspected Chinese national has gone to some length to take on the online personality of Malta’s Prime Minister. The individual in question created a fake Instagram account bearing the name, personal details and official photographs of Prime Minister Muscat.
As part of the elaborate ruse, the page even links to partitlaburista.org, the official website of Muscat’s political party–the labor party. The alleged conman used the Prime Minister’s image to convince people to contact someone called Wang Wei promising them huge returns on Bitcoin investments.
In many ways, the scam is a popular one on the Internet—a cryptocurrency version of the old money-doubling Ponzi scheme. People pay a particular sum of money (in this case, Bitcoin) and are promised that they will receive a vastly higher return after a certain period. For this particular scam, the investment period was one month.
At press time, the Instagram post from the fake Joseph Muscat account had been taken down, but the account as well as that of Wang Wei, is still active. A look at the followers of the faux-Muscat account shows senior Maltese politicians, many of whom might be unaware that they are following a false account.
With Malta fast becoming a global cryptocurrency and blockchain technology hub, it isn’t at all surprising to see elaborate scams emerging in the island nation. Prime Minister Muscat himself is a firm advocate of cryptocurrency and has been instrumental in establishing the country as a go-to destination for crypto behemoths like Binance and OKEx.
Fake Celebrity Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Endorsements
Recently, popular talent show judge and entertainment mogul Simon Cowell announced through his legal team that he would be suing crypto con artists using his image to defraud people. Cowell is one of many celebrities to fall victim to what is becoming a popular trend on the Internet.
In July, Tesla chief, Elon Musk tweeted about the Twitter scambot epidemic, especially as it concerns the Ethereum cryptocurrency. The tech superstar had been the victim of a Twitter scambot promising people huge returns on fake Ethereum investment schemes which aren’t too dissimilar from the scam described earlier.
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