Investigation traces Bitcoin scam with celebrities back to Moscow

Several countries are believed to be involved in this major global Bitcoin advertising fraud.

A large Bitcoin ( BTC ) advertising scam with unauthorized images of Australian celebrities used to advertise a fake investment system is said to have come from Russia, according to a new report

Fraudulent Bitcoin advertisements using images of Australian celebrities like Dick Smith and Andrew Forrest belong to an organized global business that uses at least five addresses in Moscow, according to a study by The Guardian.

On December 13th, The Guardian released a report with more details on the major Bitcoin advertising scam that has been running on news websites since at least 2018. As previously reported, the scam involved counterfeit articles using unauthorized images of celebrities. It was used to advertise fraudulent crypto investment systems and steal money. The Guardian itself fell victim to this scam when the news agency inadvertently ran some of these fraudulent ads.

According to the latest report, The Guardian Australia found five names registered by hundreds of fake websites linked to the scam „all addresses in central Moscow“.

The news agency reported that Google had opened an investigation because two of the email addresses were linked to Gmail accounts

The Guardian said more information would suggest the fraud system may have links with Ukraine as well. Reference was made to a report by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) from March 2020. The OCCRP investigation found a call center running similar bitcoin scams out of Kiev.

In March 2020, an informant exposed a crypto scam operating out of Ukraine . The 200-employee scam primarily targeted investors from Australia, New Zealand and the UK and promoted fake news articles featuring celebrities such as Gordon Ramsay, Hugh Jackman and Martin Lewis. This scam is said to have raised $ 70 million in 2019.