David is a tech journalist who loves old-school adventure games, techno and the Beastie Boys. He's currently on the finance beat. David is a tech journalist who loves old-school adventure games, techno and the Beastie Boys. He's currently on the finance beat.
The head of a $230 billion investment fund is the latest high-profile individual targeted by Facebook’s Bitcoin fraudsters.
Ho Ching, chief executive of Singapore’s Temasek, has been featured in ads for a bogus cryptocurrency trading program, The Straits Times reports.
The ads include logos of reputable local media outlets to boost their credibility, and promise incredibly lucrative returns on any investments made.
One ad reportedly features a fake article that details a call between the head of a major bank and Ms. Ho, in which they beg her to stop divulging money-making secrets, such as investing in “Bitcoin Pro.”
Quite simply, they promise buyers will get rich, quick — as long as they hand over their email address, phone numbers, and credit card information.
“I’ve been using Bitcoin Pro for just over 2 weeks, and I’ve taken my initial deposit from $338 to $5,802. That is far more than what I make at work,” reads a quote on one of the ads (obviously fake).
Previous incarnations of the ads reportedly cited Singapore’s prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is married to Ms. Ho, as an “endorser.” Images of famous local actors have also been used.
Facebook’s trouble with Bitcoin scammers isn’t localized
In response to the ads featuring Ms Ho, Facebook reportedly said it had disabled accounts previously associated with the scam, but that they had returned with a slightly different pitch.
“These scammers use sophisticated cloaking technology to mask content so that it shows different versions to our ad review systems than it does to people,” a spokesperson told the Straits Times. “This is a clear violation of our policies as ads must not use tactics intended to circumvent our ad review process or other enforcement systems. We have removed the ads and disabled the associated pages and ad accounts.”
Earlier this month, a Dutch court ruled in ‘Big Brother’ billionaire John de Mol’s favor in his case against Facebook.
De Mol sued Facebook over its failure to police its platform for similarly fraudulent ads using his image in a bid to peddle cryptocurrency scams.
His legal team estimated that investors had lost €1.7 million ($1.88 million) to the fraudsters. Facebook must now remove the fake de Mol ads, or pay $1.2 million in fines.
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