An initial coin offering (ICO) scam that was using fake endorsements from celebrities, including Jennifer Aniston, has been shut down by the Texas State Securities Board.
Wind Wide Coin is offering illegal, deceptive and fraudulent investment offers in Texas. The scammers were caught using phoney testimonials to fraudulently promote their token sale. An emergency cease-and-desist order was filed on Wednesday alleging that those behind the ICO were illegally peddling unregistered securities.
Wind Wide Coin used images of the Friends star alongside photographs of Prince Charles, and former Finnish prime minister Matti Vanhanen to mislead investors. In a detail given to Texas State Security Board states that purported individuals were labelled Jennifer Aniston as “Kate Jennifer” and Prince Charles as “Mark Robert.”
The company had claimed many things including
- The income from investment scheme will be 100 percent sure
- Clients will not lose their money
- No risk is involved
Source: Texas Securities Board
Promoting dodgy schemes with fake celebrity endorsements is a common tactic used by fraudsters. These are used as evidence by Texas State Securities Board.
Oddly, it isn’t the first time a celebrity likeness has been used to promote fraudulent ICOs where the scammers made the bizarre choice to alter the names.
Earlier this year, a token sale was caught conducting an exit scam after investors realized the company had Hollywood actor Ryan Gosling listed as their graphic designer.
Joe Rotunda, director of enforcement at the Texas State Securities Board, told Crypto Media giant CCN in an emailed statement that the scheme was “strikingly familiar” to others that the state has shut down in recent months.
“Today’s action is a reminder that, step by step and case by case, we’ve been uncovering a virtual playbook of tactics employed by promoters of illegal and fraudulent cryptocurrency investment programs. Although their names may change and their products may vary, these promoters are employing surprisingly similar schemes. They are often promising lucrative returns from sophisticated investments tied to cryptocurrencies, and then manipulating photographs, media, testimonials and other online information to deceive the public into believing their claims.”
– Joe Rotunda