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ONLINE SCAMS

How fake news articles and videos of public figures scam consumers

By our African Marketing Confederation News Team | 2024

Australia’s consumer-protection body warns about dubious online investment trading platform scams, particularly on social media.

Australia’s National Anti-Scam Centre is warning the country’s consumers to beware of fake news articles and deepfake videos of public figures that endorse online investment trading platform scams, particularly on social media. 

 

Last year, Australians reported losing more than US$5.2-million to online investment trading platform scams, with 400 reports made to the centre. 

 

“We are urging Australians to take their time and do their research before taking up an investment opportunity – particularly those seen on social media,” the Deputy Chair of the Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Catriona Lowe, said on Friday (1 March). 

 

“Scammers are creating fake news articles and deepfake videos to convince people that celebrities and well-known public figures are making huge sums of money using online investment trading platforms, when in fact it is a scam.”

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

“These fake videos and news articles circulating on social media and video sharing platforms, often claim that the online trading platform uses artificial intelligence or other emerging technologies such as quantum computing to generate high returns for investors, but it is not true,” Lowe said. 

 

One man lost $52,000 in cryptocurrency after seeing a deepfake Elon Musk video interview on social media, clicking the link and registering his details through an online form.  

 

He was provided with an account manager and an online dashboard where he could see his investment supposedly making huge returns. But when he tried to withdraw the money, he was locked out of his account. 

 

According to the ACCC, this is how online investment trading platform scams often work: 

 

  • Scammers entice victims through social media advertisements, deepfake videos on video-sharing platforms, and fake online news articles about celebrities and well-known public figures claiming to make substantial money from online trading platforms. 
  • This fake click-bait will link to a scam website where victims are prompted to enter their details. This is the gateway for communication between the scammer and victim. 
  • Scammers ask for a small investment via credit card to provide access to the trading platform. 
  • Scammers will often ask the new investor to download a third-party trading platform via the relevant app store, or provide the investor with login details for an online dashboard. 
  • After showing profits through a dedicated online dashboard, scammers persuade their victims to invest more. Sometimes scammers will allow victims to make a small withdrawal early in the scam to build trust. 
  • When the victim eventually tries to withdraw their funds, scammers will ask for withdrawal fees or cite tax implications to obtain more money. Some victims have reported being locked out of their account. 

“Ask yourself if you really know what you are investing in? Scammers can create fake news to make it seem legitimate. Do an internet search to see if there are warnings about this investment trading platform scam, including if the well-known public figure has warned about being impersonated,” the ACCC advises consumers. 

Dr Kin Kariisa

Group CEO - Next Media

Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

  • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
  • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
  • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
  • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.