After a series of ads for a bitcoin (BTC) scam, guised as posts by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, surfaced on Facebook, the social media giant removed those from its platform on Saturday.
The scam, calling itself the “Bitcoin Loophole” — claimed that Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, personally endorsed a scheme that were to guarantee riches within a week through bitcoin trading.
The fraudulent posts were finally deleted after thousands of users handed over personal information and money to the criminals. The imposters were found to be based in Ukraine and Argentina.
The scam stated that the bitcoin investment strategy was the prince’s way of “giving back to the people.” and that they will receive close to $13000 per day, thereby, convincing investors to make an up-front donation of 1,000 UAE dirhams ($272).
An official statement has been released by the Abu Dhabi Media Office, warning the public to be vigilant about such fraudulent investment schemes, saying that government figures will only make announcements through official channels. A Facebook spokesperson was quoted saying:
“Claiming to be another person on Facebook violates our community standards, and we have a dedicated team that’s tasked with helping to detect and block these kinds of scams.”
Using fake statements on social media from famous figures are often used by scammers to promote fraudulent cryptocurrency schemes. Last year, Tesla founder Elon Musk’s identity was falsely used on twitter to promote a BTC scam.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter should take better measures to filter out such misleading ads even before they are visible to the users. There must be some measures taken to check the authenticity of the ads before they get published in the platforms so that users do not fall into the traps.