Over the past couple of years, online scams have been continually growing and becoming more convincing. Did you know that the names of Martin Lewis and Sir Richard Branson are used the most in association with fake endorsement scams? The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) completed an audit of online endorsement scams and found these two celebrities were the mot popular in this type of scam. This could be due to them being well known and respectable figures within the financial industry meaning people had a strong level of trust within them.
What are fake endorsement scams?
Criminals create fake news articles informing readers of an opportunity to invest in a new idea or business. They then use pictures and the names of these celebrities to say they are backing the projects and investing their money into it and that you should do the same. These articles make their way onto social media, mass email campaigns and even texts. People see these celebrities associated with the scam and assume it must be legit. The criminals then add a link to their fake website where you can sign up and invest your money. By making the website look official and by using recognised names to be seen as backing the investment, the whole scam appears convincing.
The same scams are happening worldwide, each country will use a different celebrity that is respected and known in their country to go on to gain trust. The end result is gaining cryptocurrency from the unfortunate victims.
The NCSC has started to tackle these growing issues and started to take action against these websites in April 2020. Since then, they have taken down over 286,322 separate scam websites.
Stay vigilant, if it looks too good to be true it probably is and only click through to sites you know and trust.