ASIC, The Australian Securities and Investment Commission has issued a nationwide scam alert about recurring bitcoin get-rich-quick schemes which use fake celebrity endorsements for promotional purposes. We are constantly warning our viewers and members about these types of cloned scams which use a similar format whilst trying to bait unsuspecting victims. We also find it very strange that ASIC has waited so long to post this alert on their official website, but as they say better late than never. In their communique they specifically mention celebrities Celeste Barber, Waleed Aly, and David James Koch (Aka Kochie), but we know for a fact that this is only a partial list and there are many more celebrities and high-profile public figures which are constantly used in the most misleading and deceptive manner. We have attached a screenshot of this warning for you so you could see for yourself exactly what is being said and the kind of tone the authorities are using.
Repetitive Scams, Why Are They So Persistent?
Online promoters such as affiliate networks or media agencies have special deals put in place with CFD (contract for difference) brokers. Promoters refer paying clients to brokers and then get paid referral commissions. Brokers have to train personnel which is constantly changing, and in order to do so effectively they stick to a certain format which streamlines their training procedures. This “format” is actually the whole cookie-cutter or production line operation which has gradually metastasized and grown exponentially since different affiliate networks have copied the scams and they are all using different URLs. This is why when you do a search for “Bitcoin Evolution” for example, you will find 3 URLS which claim to be the official website. The truth is that they are all scams, and there is no way for you to generate any type of income if you join these fraudulent schemes. The financial regulator also mentions Bitcoin Trader and Bitcoin Revolution in its warning.
Celebrity-based Scams, Why Is It Happening?
Celebrities or public figures are perceived as more authoritative or believable sources. That is why Daniel Craig is paid to wear Omega Watches and George Clooney drinks Nespresso. Scammers understand the power celebrities have and their ability to convince the public that a certain product or service should be purchased. When advertisers are concerned this is very much like a cat and mouse game. Search engines or social networks like Facebook or Twitter take down fake advertisements when public sentiment is against it, and when possible they allow the campaigns to go up once more since they need the advertising dollars (or Euros).
No End In Sight
We believe that this trend will not end or abate any time soon. In fact, it will only grow since savvy marketers are beginning to understand just how effective this type of advertising can be. We encourage our members to stay vigilant and start asking the hard questions whenever confronted with a similar situation.
How To Spot The Scam?
First rule of thumb is that if it’s too good to be true it usually is. Be mindful of exaggerated claims of easy money or inflated bank accounts. It’s simply not possible to become a millionaire overnight. Secondly, conduct proper research and always opt for an industry website. There is a growing trend of paid press releases which are gaining massive exposure on search engines, and there are also spoofed or fake websites which are used to promote scams. It’s easy to spot the fake websites because the domain names have nothing to do with virtual currencies or finance. Finally, if you are unsure simple ask us. We were recently contacted by a major news outlet in the UK and asked about this growing trend (see tweet).