British tycoon Sir Richard Branson, a known bitcoin advocate, targets tech firms publishing fraudulent crypto schemes using his name.
The founder of the Virgin Group, which controls over 400 companies, Sir Richard Branson, is fed up with crypto fraudsters using his name to dupe unsuspecting investors.
Track live crypto price of 10000+ coins!
“It’s a terrible thing because it affects a small person who can ill afford it,” the British billionaire said, speaking in Austin after Virgin Atlantic Airways launched new operations in the region.
Both Branson and U.K. money-saving journalist Martin Lewis have had their names abused on Meta Platforms Inc.’s advertising platform. After speaking to outgoing Meta COO Sheryl Sandberg about fake ads on the platform, Branson enlisted lawyers to talk to other tech giants about similar problems.
For Lewis, links on Facebook took customers to a fake BBC website describing the merits of Bitcoin Code, a trading bot claiming to generate enormous returns for investors.
Branson and Lewis support Online Safety Bill
Lewis and Branson are advocates of a new Online Safety Bill that will hold companies responsible for user-generated scams, but not the adverts themselves, creating an incentive for criminals to divest their advertising resources elsewhere. The new bill is making its way through the U.K. Parliament.
Branson’s known support of bitcoin may have inadvertently made his name open to abuse. Last year, a report released by the National Cyber Security Centre in the U.K. included his name in a list of celebrities whose names are abused by crypto criminals. Lewis’ name was also on the list.
“It’s the worst flattery I’ve ever had. These thieves and con artists leach off the reputation for trust I’ve built up by trying to help and protect consumers in order to try and steal money off other people. The concept makes me feel nauseous,” Lewis told the BBC at the time.
Fraudsters post ads in which celebrities appear to endorse a cryptocurrency endeavor, providing links to websites where users are often asked for an initial upfront fee.
“They’re really convincing, and it’s no surprise people fall for them. Criminals use both newspaper brands and celebrities combined to make these articles look really good,” said Ian Levy, Technical Director at the NCSC.
A crucial lifeline
Branson, meanwhile, continues to extol the virtues of holding a small percentage of bitcoin in one’s portfolio. He believes that crypto provided a vital lifeline to preserve people’s savings, especially those fleeing during the Russia-Ukraine war or those escaping Afghanistan as the Taliban wrested back control of the country last year.
While he didn’t leave the country, an anonymous source told Be[In]Crypto that small shops exchanging crypto for USD or Afghanis provided a lifeline to him and his family when the Taliban took over in August 2021 and popular services like Western Union and SWIFT no longer operated.
Virgin Galactic, Branson’s space initiative that competes with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, accepts bitcoin as payment for booking rides.
All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.
Download MAXBIT Android App, Your best source of all crypto news!
Share this article: