Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, Malta’s pro-cryptocurrency prime minister, has been the subject of a recent Instagram scam.
Muscat was targeted by conmen using his name to open a fake Instagram account, in an attempt to promote a Bitcoin investment scheme.
The fake account quickly attracted around 1,300 followers with the promise of “enormous return on investments within a month’s time”. A suggestion that potential investors should contact a “Wang Wei” was made using Prime Minister Muscat’s name, but then the account was quickly removed from Instagram.
Muscat has long been an advocate of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, pushing Malta into the forefront of the industry taking it to third most “crypto-friendly” nation, according to a BlockShow Europe study earlier this year.
Not only is the small country planning to host the world’s first regulation-ready decentralized bank, but Malta’s PM has openly expressed a desire for his country to become the world’s number one blockchain hub.
The island has become increasingly appealing to Bitcoin companies conducting business there due to its positive spin on blockchain technology and its open-minded approach to regulation, linked to a strong economy. It also boasts the largest cryptocurrency trading volume in the world, according to Morgan Stanley. With this new legal-certainty status for cryptocurrencies, the country’s claim as another European “crypto haven” to rival Switzerland may be well founded.
The using of prominent names to set up fake schemes has been particularly popular in the UK of late with a number of TV celebrities being targeted. One is the subject of a legal case against Facebook after money saving expert Martin Lewis was targetted. Alan Sugar, British entrepreneur and presenter of TV’s ‘The Apprentice’, told the UK’s Mail on Sunday that scam cryptocurrency deals targeting celebrities were becoming a routine for many prominent business people.
Others who have suffered damage to their reputations due to crypto crime including Bill Gates, Virgin Boss Richard Branston, and BBC Dragon’s Den’s panel member Deborah Meaden.
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