Organised criminal gangs across the world, who trawl the digital space for opportunities to make a fast buck have sunk their teeth into a crypto currency trading scam.
And it’s raking in hundreds of millions of dollars across various fake foreign exchange trading platforms. The criminals behind the frauds are using pictures of Hollywood actor Mel Gibson, audio and visual of Virgin Boss, Sir Richard Branson, and producing fake online news articles to promote crypto currency trading platforms that claim to build wealth creation for their customers.
These transnational criminal groups have smothered Facebook with thousands of advertisements, some featuring pictures of celebrities, hoping to lure unsuspecting people to their websites.
An IFW Global investigation, led by Executive Chairman Ken Gamble, has peeled back the layers of the sophisticated scam to reveal who is behind it, how they are doing it and more importantly what you need to be looking for in order to avoid falling victim to the scammers.
“They are sophisticated looking trading platforms that allow a person to invest as little as $250 in the belief they are buying crypto currency on a trading platform,” explains Mr Gamble.
“They are conned into thinking that their $250 investment can make them thousands of dollars more. But once they hand over the money through a bank transfer it’s gone forever.”
Mr Gamble said the scam was so lucrative that the criminals behind it are reaping in more than $300 million a year and it looks set to grow unless people are made aware of the trap.
The Facebook blitz
“The fraudsters have decided to target Facebook users because in their eyes they feel that hundreds of thousands of people on that social media platform would be a little naïve when it comes to this scam,” Mr Gamble said.
“They have chosen to use the likes of Mel Gibson in a recent spate of Facebook advertisements showing his picture with fake ABC headlines that are created by the fraudsters, essentially as click-bait’ to lure them into the fraudulent trading website set up by the scammers.”
The fake content appearing on Facebook posts claims to be quote from Mel Gibson.
The scammers are using logos from various news networks, such as ABC Australia, with fictitious headlines about Mel Gibson using a Bitcoin trading scheme to build wealth creation and to push the scam to unsuspecting Australian investors.
IFW Global has confirmed with media industry sources that these reports never appeared on the media networks and are fraudulent. Readers should dismiss the contents.
“We have made Facebook aware that the fake news content is appearing. Once IFW makes Facebook aware of the scam they are very good at removing the damaging content. But the scammers will then go away and redesign the content and post it again,” explains Mr Gamble.
“The best defence we have is that social media readers are made aware, so they can become more knowledgeable and vigilant against these types of online frauds.”
Fake news reports have been appearing across the internet in a bid to lure potential victims to the scammers' websites.
This is what the website pages look like after readers click on the fake news stories featuring the likes of Mel Gibson.
Israeli crime gangs behind the scam
IFW Executive Chairman Ken Gamble has discovered through his investigation that Israeli crime gangs are responsible for the crypto currency con. Some details about the investigation cannot be made public for operatorial reasons.
“The Israeli groups behind these fraudulent platforms are the same groups that made billions of dollars in Binary Option trading scams across the world. Binary Options trading was outlawed in Israel in 2017 after a decade of damage to foreign based investors. Many of these groups have now moved offshore, particularly to SE Asia, to operate call centres that provide customer support to fraudulent trading platforms and other cryptocurrency scams.
If you think you have been scammed in Australia report it here to The Cyber Issue Reporting System
“This is a multi-billion-dollar industry fuelled by a lack of regulatory and law enforcement action against those behind the scams. In June 2018, almost 500 arrests were made in one day when the offices of Financial Trading Online (FTO) was raided by the Philippines National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group. 8 Israeli bosses were also arrested. Police found that FTO was raking in USD 1 million per day since the operation started in 2016.”
Evidence showing a company used by the scammers no longer exists
The scammers claim Clicksure is the payment software they use, but IFW has discovered that it no longer exists.