The Fraud Help Desk recently went on Dutch broadcaster NOS to discuss the increasing amount of fake cryptocurrency-related advertisements in the country. Many of these ads use fake quotes from Dutch celebrities to sell their scams.
Fake celebrity-endorsed cryptocurrencies are widespread in the Netherlands according to the national anti-fraud hotline.
The reporting agency told the Dutch broadcaster Nederlandse Omroep Stichtin (NOS) that many of these cryptocurrency investments promise profits but oftentimes participants don’t even see a cent in returns.
Since 2018, the Fraud Help Desk has received some 1.7M Euros in damage reports. This number is likely understated, however, considering that only five fraudulent websites have been reported. Most of these scams fly under the radar and are seldom brought to the authorities.
Investors Hurt, Celebrity Reputations Tarnished
The damage done has been spread across countless people who may invest just a few euros, but there are many cases where investors put forward thousands of euros in these scams.
Andre Vermeulen of the Fraud Help Desk told the NOS that reports regarding new cryptocurrency-related fake advertisements come in every day. Celebrities are also disappointed when they hear the news, he said, because it damages their reputation.
Oftentimes, the ads appear on either Facebook or Instagram. Using clickbait headlines, they draw in unsuspecting victims who are swayed by the promise of profits. Celebrities targeted have included John de Mol, Waylon, and Humberto Tan.
The police, however, have expressed limited capability in dealing with this issue. Part of the issue is that cryptocurrency-related fraud follows a whole different set of legal parameters, and because of this means it often goes unaccounted for.
Ultimately, it is very difficult to track and shut down these ads. Although authorities and social media outlets can be more proactive in banning them, many of these scammers just repost them again under a different page or handle.
At the end of the day, investors must be more educated when it comes to scams. The best protection against losing your hard-earned money is being constantly vigilant. If an investment offer is too good to be true, it almost always is.
Have you noticed an uptick in cryptocurrency-related scams with fake celebrity endorsements? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.