Get rich quickly and easily with Bitcoin. That promise was just one of many fraudulent sites trying to take their money out of investors’ pockets.
Scammers shared videos and articles on Google ads and social media where it appeared celebrities were promoting cryptocurrency investments. Pictures with famous faces such as Thomas Gottschalk, Dieter Bohlen or Günther Jauch first attracted readers.
But not only the investors, but also the famous people who are in the role of the victim here. Because they didn’t know anything about the ads, the fraudsters only use their level of awareness.
Professional appearance in the face of a terrible scamSome of the famous people were cleverly chosen, because the articles were abused on the face of Frank Thelen, who was known as an investor through the TV show Höhle der Löwen.
Here, the scammers took advantage of the image of the successful investor, which was supposed to ensure seriousness. Because Frank Thelen had already invested in cryptocurrency in the past, but not in Bitcoin, but in the second largest online currency, Ethereum.
André Wolf from the Mimikama association wants to provide information about Internet abuse and is surprised by the way the articles are presented. They are not only visible on social media, but also on reputable news platforms.
They look deceptively real in their presentation, for example by incorporating BILD logos in the articles, or by depicting the founders of the show “Die Höhle der Löwen”. The articles differ little from the journalistic standard and laymen have little chance of spotting a BTC fraud.
Investors lose money as a result of the constant actions of scammers
Now the readers are enticed, after reading the articles, they are promised riches through bitcoin trading. They were then forwarded to platforms like Bitcoin Code or Bitcoin Profit, where they can start their investment by signing up.
Anyone who went this way and registered, he was soon facing the fear of telephone. The providers asked investors to transfer their money quickly so that the investment could be completed.
Call center employees promised people quick money over the phone with no risk. But instead of the big profit, investors got fees and taxes.
Because, as soon as it came to pay the results, the fraudsters demanded thousands of euros again, which were supposed to cover the alleged taxes and fees for the transactions. However, that, like the actual prize itself, was faked by the scammers. Here they just wanted to get more money out of people who were already hurt.
Attorney Patrick Wilson from the Herfurtner law firm emphasizes the criminal nature of these scams. 90% of providers who act this way are suspicious. He goes on to say, “The scammers are definitely putting the money that the victims have deposited into their own pockets, and this whole deal is bad mouth,” says Wilson.
“So these trading platforms are pure computer simulations.”
Lion’s Den Scam: Why Cryptocurrency?
Since cryptocurrencies are going through the roof, scammers have also become aware of them. Bitcoin has become a cipher that indicates that people can become rich without much work.
So the scammers are taking the success of bitcoin on board the scam and think they want to help investors benefit from this success and get rich too. It is only necessary to pay a small sum, but sometimes a large sum must be paid for this and there is no prevention of winning.
With the names the scammers give their platform, they ensure seriousness. For example, if you Google Bitcoin Code, you will first see several test reports and reputable websites. You need to know what you are dealing with to recognize that it is a scam.
The rip-offs depend on an old scam
The method of scammers is not new, since cryptocurrencies have spread and become successful, scammers are coming to them.
For example, Bill Gates, Markus Lanz and the jurors of the TV show “Die Höhle der Löwen” involuntarily ended up in some articles with a fake BILD logo. The scammers skillfully fake the prominent faces to draw attention to the items.
There are several articles specifically about “The Lion’s Den”. Here it says “From the lion’s den – which amazes every viewer” or “Bitcoins from the lion’s den”. Here the scammers are again playing with the interest of the readers, because the VOX show is very well known in Germany and the judges of the show are professional investors.
The who wants to be a millionaire moderator Günther Jauch was also used for the purposes of the scammers and appeared on numerous photos with comments on the Bitcoin investment. He told the Plusminus program from ARD:
“Friends or acquaintances write to me because they take it in their face and say: How can you give up your Bitcoin? What kind of weird ad are you dealing with? I know many people who wrote to me and lost hundreds, thousands, sometimes thousands of euros, risked their entire pensions and fell for these Bitcoin ads.”
Not only the cheated investors, but also the famous people wanted to take action against the scam in the past. But that is not so easy, because the masterminds are mostly based abroad. Their locations and identities are anonymous, meaning they are usually not involved in police investigations.
If you want to invest in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency, you should not do so through popped-up items. It is best to buy cryptocurrencies from a verified provider such as eToro.de.