Bitcoin celeb ad scam traces to Moscow. According to a new article, a large Bitcoin (BTC) ad scam involving illegal pictures of Australian celebrities who apparently promoted fake investment schemes is allegedly coming from Russia.
Fraudulent Bitcoin advertisements capitalising on Australian celebrities such as Dick Smith and Andrew Forrest are part of an orchestrated multinational enterprise that uses at least five addresses in Moscow, according to The Guardian’s investigation.
On Dec. 13, The Guardian published a report providing more details about a major Bitcoin ad scam that has run on news websites since at least 2018. As previously reported, the scam involved fake articles using unauthorised images of celebrities to advertise fraudulent crypto investment schemes and steal money. The Guardian itself fell victim to the scheme as the news agency accidentally ran some of these scam ads.
According to the latest report, The Guardian Australia discovered five names of people who registered hundreds of fake websites related to the scam, “all with addresses in the centre of Moscow.” The news agency said that Google has launched an investigation as two of the email addresses were linked to Gmail accounts.
The Guardian noted that there is other information suggesting that the scam scheme may also have links to Ukraine, referring to a March 2020 report by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, or OCCRP. The OCCRP investigation found a call centre running similar Bitcoin scams operating from Kiev.