Famed entrepreneur Richard Branson is often featured in fake articles sent out by various investment schemes, many of which are related to cryptocurrency, U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) revealed in a report. The agency, which has blocked over 285,000 such campaigns in only nine months, says it’s dealing with a global problem.
The fake news articles appear as if they come from well-known publications. The scammers spread them through mass email campaigns, text messages, or ads on social media platforms in Britain and abroad. They are linked to websites where potential victims are enticed to invest in fraudulent schemes. British cybersecurity experts say it’s a growing and a global challenge.
The name of world-famous British entrepreneur and investor Sir Richard Branson is often exploited by the scammers targeting Brits in fake articles from the local press. The current wave of fake endorsements is not the first for the founder of Virgin Group, in May 2018, Branson spoke out against the spread of fake crypto stories and ads issuing a warning to investors in a blog post titled “Beware of Fake Bitcoin Scams.”
“While I have often commented on the potential benefits of genuine bitcoin developments, I absolutely do not endorse these fake bitcoin stories,” the English business magnate stated at the time. Virgin launched its own online fraud reporting portal sharing concerns about the rising number of “criminals impersonating Richard Branson.” The company also revealed that followers who post on Branson’s social media feeds had been targeted by fake accounts.