John Key, former New Zealand Prime Minister, is the latest in a line of notable individuals involved, albeit unknowingly, in a cryptocurrency scam. Bitcoin fraudsters are using the image of John Key promoting a Bitcoin scam. According to a report in Stuff.co.nz, the ad was designed for a company known as Crypto Revolt.
So far, the scammers are using images of popular TVNZ presenter Hayley Holt and New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Arden to defraud unsuspecting investors.
Exposed: Bitcoin Scam Used New Zealand’s Prime Minister as an Endorsement https://t.co/0ClFbVIupr
— CCN.com (@CryptoCoinsNews) October 14, 2018
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The Fraudsters’ Promoting Scheme
The ad, see below, resembled a business news page from New Zealand-based website Stuff, and it purports to conduct an interview with Key on his enthusiasm for the cryptocurrency. However, the website’s logo was replaced with the words NZ Times, which were positioned at the top, and all associated links redirected to Crypto Revolt’s site.
The website promoting John Key as a bitcoin endorser. Screengrab by Stuff.co.nz
Crypto Revolt is Targeting Other Prominent New Zealand Celebrities
A related news article scam was reported back in September 2018. The scam used a false report of New Zealand Breakfast show hosts Hayley Holt and Jack Tame profiting from the service. It included screenshots of Holt and Tame, claiming Holt had made investments in Bitcoin live on air.
Within three minutes, she had successfully increased her initial funds to $483.18. That’s a $233.18 profit,
the fake article noted.
Holt eventually came out to deny any reports that she made investments in Bitcoin, calling the report a scam.
Bomb Threats Demanding Bitcoin
Towards the end of 2018, the country was on high alert when reports surfaced about a bomb threat where the criminals threatened to detonate an explosive device in the recipient’s office if their demand for a ransom in Bitcoin wasn’t met. The computer emergency response of the New Zealand government, CERT NZ, said they were aware of the threatening emails, advising New Zealanders not to reply the email or send the bitcoin payment.
Pay up or Else: Bitcoin Bomb Threat Emails Show up in New Zealand and Australia https://t.co/TX4b1X9dhV
— CCN.com (@CryptoCoinsNews) December 14, 2018
New Zealand was particularly hit with numerous crypto-related scams during the crypto boom of 2017. The country’s police force has warned the public about these scams, encouraging potential crypto investors to seek proper counsel before making investments in Bitcoin investment platforms.
The increasing number of online Bitcoin scams has also drawn the attention of Netsafe, a non-profit online safety organization based in New Zealand. A spokeswoman for the organization said,
We advise not to put any money into scheme unless you’ve done it through a registered broker or read the FMA advice regarding investments.
Featured image from Shutterstock.