Category Archives: Martin Lewis

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Fake News Site Promotes Crypto Startup with New Zealand PM’s Images

The image of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been used as a tool for promoting a crypto start-up via a fake news site.

A local media source reported that sponsored stories had been posted on Facebook using the New Zealand PM’s image with article titles such as “This is where the future lies”, and “New Investment plan for Kiwis”. The former title related to a fake article claiming that the NZ treasury had purchased Bitcoin Revolution, a supposed Bitcoin firm.

It is not an unusual occurrence to have fake news sites use Ardern for promotions, according to a government spokeswoman at the Prime Minister’s office, claiming that the numbers of such occurrences are so frequent they’ve become almost impossible to track. She said:

“We aren’t able to manually or digitally monitor the increasing volume of fake news that fraudulently uses images of the Prime Minister.”

In August, an MP attacked the Prime Minister using a well-known fake news website to make her point, Tweeting an article challenging Ardern to denounce French child abuse laws. The PM showed her dismay at the time that politicians in positions of responsibility were using such sites to air their concerns publicly, arguing:

“We need politicians to make sure that we maintain a standard, that we don’t disseminate misinformation.”

This kind of fake media spin, which uses celebrities to supposedly endorse startups or investment opportunities has also been used to promote a number of cryptocurrency scams in the UK in 2018. British Billionaire and TV personality Alan Sugar recently joined an ever-expanding list of wealthy entrepreneurs whose names have been used in the promotion of cryptocurrency scams.

The New Zealand PM joins a growing list of those being targeted including Bill Gates, Richard Branston, Deborah Meaden and money saving expert Martin Lewis, who is currently pursuing his battle with Facebook in the High Court.

Ardern’s office has reportedly contacted Facebook and asked for the posts removed. The PM said earlier this year that she would expect any of her ministers using fake news sites to post stories to take them down.

 

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Image Courtesy: Pixabay

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Pro-Bitcoin Maltese PM Targeted by Crypto Fraudsters

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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Finance Journo Martin Lewis Targets Facebook for Fake Bitcoin Ads

British financial journalist and TV personality Martin Lewis has announced that he will sue social media giant Facebook over a series of cryptocurrency ads featuring his image and his name.

Lewis, who is taking his case the UK High Court on Monday, claims that at least 50 ads have been released on Facebook endorsing financial products to which he has no connection and has not authorized. Lewis, who has made his name on British TV and in the media for advising consumers how to spend money wisely, ironically is not a cryptocurrency enthusiast, once saying,”Bitcoin is a highly speculative investment. You need to be prepared and think about your attitude to risk before you consider investing.”

The presenter has said that he is “disgusted beyond endurance” with the crypto ads and maintains that Facebook has made no attempt to address the problem:

“It is facilitating scams on a constant basis in a morally repugnant way. If [it] wants to be the champion of moral causes, then he needs to stop its [sic] company doing this.”

According to Facebook, this isn’t the case, arguing,”We do not allow adverts which are misleading or false on Facebook and have explained to Martin Lewis that he should report any adverts that infringe his rights, and they will be removed.”

The statement continued to point out that Facebook was in direct contact with the Lewis team, and was investigating their requests and had recently removed other ads which violated the new company advertising policy.

Facebook has recently introduced a ban on cryptocurrency advertising, but scammers are able to avoid filters that have been put in place. The scammers promote advertising that fools investors into schemes that tap into the burgeoning popularity of cryptocurrency.

The social media giant’s fortunes continue to take a downturn after the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this month. Lewis has said that should he win the case against Facebook, awarded damages will be donated to charities that fight against scams of this nature.

image source: https://pixabay.com/en/mobile-phone-smartphone-keyboard-1917737/ – geralt

 

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