Billionaire Richard Branson Warns Against Fake Bitcoin Scam Storiesbr>
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson has warned the public against cryptocurrency scams that impersonate him to lure victims.
In a blog post titled “Beware of Fake Bitcoin Scams,” Branson warns of a growing problem of fake stories online linking him to get-rich-quick schemes, fake pages, misleading ads, false endorsements and fake binary trading schemes.
“Some of the most regular and worrying fake stories currently spreading online are false endorsements of bitcoin trading schemes,” Branson said. “While I have often commented on the potential benefits of genuine bitcoin developments, I absolutely do not endorse these fake bitcoin stories.”
The business magnate notes that the fake articles often have titles involving “quitting your job and yours truly investing in bitcoin financial tech.” The scam sites often impersonate well known news outlets, such as CNN, to make them seem more legitimate.
“You may come across these sites via links advertised on various social media sites and paid for ads,” he said. “They link through to scam sites like Bitcoin Trader, and also feature fake endorsements by the likes of Bill Gates alongside myself.”
Branson said that Virgin Group’s legal team has dealt with “hundreds of instances” of these scams over the past year alone, adding that the firm has also pressured social media platforms to take the stories down and do more to proactively stop them appearing in the first place.
“We would advise everyone to remain vigilant,” Branson said. “Check you are only clicking through to legitimate sites, with official website addresses and verified social media accounts. A simple check to do is to see if the story you are reading comes from an official Virgin website. All of my social networks are verified with blue ticks, so you can tell it is really me communicating with you.”
Other publicly recognizable figure have also made statements about crypto-related scams faking their endorsements. Last month, Martin Lewis, a millionaire British consumer rights champion and television personality, sued Facebook for accepting fake ads featuring his photo.