Bitcoin fraudsters use NZ PM’s image for advertisements

A fake news website has used former New Zealand Prime Minister John Key for promoting a crypto related scam, as per local media outlet Stuff. The advertisement was allegedly posted by a company called ‘Crypto Revolt.’

The ad also imitates several bitcoin-associated ads utilizing fake celebrity endorsements including current NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and famous TVNZ presenter Hayley Holt.

Furthermore, the crypto-article imitates a Stuff news business page, which also claims to have interviewed John Key speaking about his “enthusiasm for Bitcoin.”

new zealand times

The fake news site replaced the Stuff logo with an “NZ Times” logo, which was positioned at the top, with all links leading to Crypto Revolt’s website. The person or source which discovered the ad, recommended that the web address sounded suspicious, also claiming the company itself could have been hacked.

Key’s image was earlier used similarly on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, the ad on these sites were quoted saying,

“I purchased a mere $1,000 and followed the Bitcoin loophole system, and now seven years later my $1,000 investment is worth $300 million. It’s funny to think how that $1,000 has grown to become my biggest asset.”

In September 2018, fake news site falsified New Zealand Breakfast Show hosts Hayley Holt and JackTame of increasing their profits from their phoney Bitcoin investment scheme. The fake article comprised screenshots of Holt and Tame, claiming Holt had invested in Bitcoin, while on air. The article read, “Within three minutes, she had successfully increased her initial funds to $483.18. That’s a $233.18 profit.”

Holt called out the reports as a scam and said she had never purchased Bitcoins and responded to the article saying, “Unfortunately, I have not made mega bucks,”

New Zealand was previously faced with a bomb threat, and the criminals threatened to blow up the recipient’s office if their ransom weren’t paid in Bitcoins. CERT NZ, the computer energy response of New Zealand was aware of the threatening emails and advised New Zealanders to neither reply to the emails nor transfer bitcoins.

The rise in the number of bitcoin scams has persuaded police and Netsafe  (New Zealand’s independent and non-profit internet safety organization) to come out with a statement asking New Zealanders “to do their homework before giving their money to Bitcoin investment websites.”

A Netsafe spokeswoman said, “We advise not to put any money into scheme unless you’ve done it through a registered broker or read the FMA advice regarding investments.”