According to British tabloid Daily Mirror, cryptocurrency scammers are faking the football star’s endorsement as well that of veteran broadcaster Jonathan Ross to shill fraudulent crypto investment schemes. The fabricated endorsements have infected social media platforms across the web.
How This Bitcoin Scam Lures Cristiano Ronaldo Fans
One of the social media posts shows a photo of Ronaldo alongside Ross accompanied by the following caption:
"This is why all his fans will always love him unconditionally… He Opens The Gates To Wealth To All His Fans In The UK."
The post contains the web address of an alleged lifestyle publication. Clicking on it directs one to a compromised website, BitcoinTrader, which contains the fabricated investment pitch [screenshot].
To raise credibility, the layout and color scheme of the website containing the investment pitch resembles that of the Daily Mirror.
Bitcoin Fraudsters Capitalize on Retail FOMO
Among other things, the investment pitch states that Ronaldo’s goal is to create new millionaires by investing in crypto. In a classic scammer move, the pitch contains a fake Ronaldo quote advising those interested to act fast. This, the post argues, is because the opportunities are limited:
"It is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and no one knows (sic) will something like this come around again in future. But you have to act fast. This will create new millionaires, but spots for applying are limited."
The pitch, which is written like a feature story, goes on to say that Ronaldo disclosed that the strategy allows the "average person the opportunity to cash in on the digital currency boom."
Ronaldo allegedly revealed the investment strategy on the Jonathan Ross Show. But while he did appear on the program in November 2015, nothing was discussed regarding investing in cryptocurrencies.
Crypto Scam Promises Insane Returns
The investment pitch also contains a false testimonial from Ross. The veteran radio and television personality is falsely quoted as saying that investing in the scheme is "really easy." This is because all that is needed is to make a deposit using a credit card. After making the initial investment of £250, the fabricated testimonial adds that Ross made a £233.18 profit within three minutes.
Besides the two celebrities, the author of the story also claims to have invested £250 and made a profit of £6,050!
Other than promising unrealistically high investment returns (a common scammer tactic), there are other ludicrous claims made by the crypto fraudsters. This includes promising victims that they will "make money on their laptop with just a few minutes of work every day."
The website also claims that its investors make at least $1,300 daily. This is after working an average of "20 minutes a day or less."
Additionally, the scam claims that the unrealistic returns are made possible by proprietary bitcoin trading software. The software allegedly "wins trades with 99.4% accuracy," an unheard of success rate either by human traders or algorithms.