An investigation shows that a large organization in Moscow is showing a growing number of scam bitcoin ads. The Guardian Australia launched an investigation to determine the nature of the increasing number of similar fraudulent activities. It concluded that there’s a group of fraudsters operating a massive global enterprise based in Moscow, Russia.
In early October, the giant news media, Guardian Australia showed many fake Bitcoin advertisements impersonating famous individuals. The Guardian Australia failed to prevent the scams from appearing on its website, and one of the victims, the multi-millionaire Dick Smith, threatened to sue the news agency.
This week, The Guardian Australia published the conclusions from its own investigation. According to the report, these fake celebrity ads have been running on several news websites for about two years now.
The investigation asserted that these schemes are a part of a “highly organized global business that uses five addresses in the center of Moscow.”
Professor David Lacey from the IDCare charity warned that such scams are on the rise. Lacey also stressed the dangers of these plans as some victims “have lost all of their savings”.
As stated in the first report, an 80-year-old retiree lost more than $80,000 in six weeks believing Dick Smith was sponsoring a scam he saw on The Guardian Australia.
Scams Keep Bypassing Google
According to this report, Google removed 5,000 fraudulent ads every minute over the past year, for a total of 2.62 billion. However, this large American multinational claimed that “scammers are always working hard and we are formulating guidelines and implementing measures to address this problem”.
Scammers used the names of local celebrities to buy millions of ads on Google’s advertising market based on the country they wanted to target. They bypassed Google’s detection by repeating minor text changes in the ad.
The media argued that because it came directly from Google, it could not easily control whether fraudulent ads were being displayed on its website. Even so, The Guardian Australia has blocked some markets selling fake advertising and managed to prevent fraudulent content from being displayed on its website.
The investigation found that the Moscow-based organization had two email addresses linked to Gmail. After the report was released, a Google spokesman said the company’s security team would conduct its own investigation.