Kate Winslet joined the ranks of celebrities whose image and reputation have been used by Bitcoin scammers to advertise fraudulent investment vehicles. A fake interview with BBC News presenter Huw Edwards was used to promote Bitcoin Code, a supposed “cryptocurrency auto-trading platform”, that asked for a £350 ($435) up-front fee. This is far from being the first such attempt, but it seems that the scammers are fine tuning their efforts in order to access new victims.
— Mirror Celeb (@MirrorCeleb) September 21, 2019
Same Scam, Different Approach
British newspaper the Daily Mirror spotted the ads and alerted Winslet’s management company, who said that the promotion was “completely disingenuous and categorically false”. The advert followed the pattern usually seen in these types of adverts where a celebrity is said to have made sensational returns by investing in the particular platform before trying to lure in potential investors with a sales pitch at the end. This advert used not just Kate Winslet’s image and reputation, but also that of the BBC, which is held in high regard worldwide for its journalism. This isn’t an accident, according to Martin Lewis, a British financial expert who himself appeared on such adverts and in fact won a case against Facebook in 2018 because of it. He claims that the scammers were “fishing to see how good Kate Winslet is” in terms of how much money they receive and that if she taps into a new market then more similar adverts could appear in the future.
Winslet and Lewis in Good Company
Lewis isn’t the only critic of Facebook’s role in the scams. Endemol co-founder Jon de Mol is currently going through the same process that Lewis went through, following his decision earlier this year to take Facebook to court over the use of his image and reputation in a similar case. de Mol seems to be having a harder time than Lewis however as he has said publicly that trying to deal with Facebook over the issue is proving “impossible”.