Action Fraud has issued a warning about online cryptocurrency influencers. The fraud service has seen an increase in complaints about cryptocurrency scams being promoted by celebrities online.
Cryptocurrency is one of the virtual payment methods that have increased in popularity in recent years. However, Action Fraud, their National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Crime warn cryptocurrency users to be careful of fraud and offer tips on how to avaid this.
One of the common cryptocurrency fraud tactics that Action Fraud mentions that fraudsters use is through fake celebrity endorsements. The ways fraudsters go about using this method to lure in victims is by creating adverts of fake investment opportunities that at first glance may appear professional and credible appearing by using an image of a well-known figure.
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These fraudsters also are known to send emails and create websites. Fake celebrity endorsements for ads are so popular that from April 2020 and March 2021, Action Fraud received 558 investment fraud reports which made reference to a fake celebrity endorsement. 79% of reports mentioned cryptocurrency as what they invested in.
If you use cryptocurrency, a solution that Action Fraud suggests is to ‘‘be wary of adverts online and on social media promising high returns on investments in crypto assets or crypto asset-related products and be suspicious if you are contacted out of the blue about an investment opportunity. This could be via a cold-call, an e-mail or an approach on social media.’’
They also advise ‘’Don’t be rushed into making an investment. No legitimate person or firm will pressure you into making an investment, or committing to something on the spot. Take time to do your research.’’
Action Fraud also say ‘‘Most firms advertising and selling investments in cryptoassets are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authorotiy (FCA). This means that if you invest in certain cryptoassets you will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if things go wrong – so always check the FCA Register to make sure you’re dealing with an authorised firm and check the FCA Warning List of firms to avoid.’’
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