A fake version of a BBC News report is being used to scam unsuspecting users into paying money in the belief that they are buying Bitcoin.
The page mirrors a story that the BBC ran about one of its Panorama documentaries in 2017 that did talk about Bitcoin, but instead of any legitimate news the fake article instead takes users to a site promising to make them millionaires.
Reports from MyOnlineSecurity suggest that the fake page was being spread via email, with accounts being hacked by malicious forces in order to seem more legitimate.
And as the BBC notes, this isn’t the first time that its brand has been used in order to spread scams. In 2018, there were numerous adverts inaccurately claiming that the stars of Dragons’ Den (a show where entrepreneurs pitch business ideas to five multimillionaires) had promoted a page called Bitcoin Trader. Two of the multimillionaires, Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones, issued denials afterwards.
Fake ads using Dragons Den and myself as clickbait then directing to a Bitcoin site are a scam. Don’t click or it feeds the ugly and DEF don’t give them money.
— Deborah Meaden (@DeborahMeaden) April 4, 2018
Bitcoin scams have been a thorn in the side of many social media platforms recently: Martin Lewis, who runs the MoneySavingExpert site, launched legal action against Facebook after the social media giant failed to remove fake ads that used Lewis’ face to promote a similar Bitcoin scam.
On Twitter, accounts impersonating Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk often reply to his tweets promoting Bitcoin scams. These scammers slip under the radar by purchasing verified accounts, usually a mark of authenticity on the site, in order to better imitate Musk and slightly editing the profile image in order to avoid detection.
lmfao the ethereum scammers are using some sort of content-aware scale thing to mess up elon musk’s avatar a bit to keep from getting caught now
I’m dying pic.twitter.com/SFbFWpirkH
— popular 🐦 belief (@vogon) October 5, 2018