Alan Sugar, British Entrepreneur, and presenter of TV’s ‘The Apprentice’, talking to the UK’s Mail on Sunday, has said that scam cryptocurrency deals targeting celebrities is becoming a routine for many prominent business people, according to This is Money.
The 74-year-old billionaire and founder of computer electronics company Amstrad became Britain’s answer to Donald Trump who presented the original US Apprentice series before becoming US President.
According to This is Money, fake news is on the rise with bogus celebrity endorsements fooling investors into investing in fake cryptocurrency projects.
Sugar joins an ever-expanding list of wealthy entrepreneurs whose names have been used in the promotion of cryptocurrency scams. Others who have suffered damage to their reputations due to crypto crime including Bill Gates, Richard Branston, Deborah Meaden and money saving expert Martin Lewis.
He commented about his recent experience when his name was used to sell scam crypto-currency deals:
‘These crooks are utterly ruthless. I just hope that people do their homework before parting with any money. It is infuriating to see my name and face on websites run by charlatans claiming I back their fraudulent investment scheme.”
Lord Sugar, who is currently working with his lawyers to get online ads featuring the entrepreneur removed, suggests that the perpetrators normally hide behind short-lived anonymous websites, making this type of crime difficult to tackle by lawmakers. He added that “there seems to be little that can be done about it because these cowardly crooks hide behind short-lived anonymous overseas websites.”
Action Fraud, The UK’s national fraud reporting center suggest such scams are increasing with 21 reports in March alone, costing victims £34,000 (USD $45,000). Mark Ward of Wealth manager Sanlam UK suggests that “people do not always know what they are buying. They mistakenly believe Richard Branson is saying it is good, so feel it is good enough for them. Others are buying for fear of missing out.”
There are many ways that investors can ensure safe trading and avoid scams, such as using a known exchange to transact and open a digital wallet, preferably a cold storage hard wallet making it difficult to hack via the internet. Investors can also refer to UK regulators ScamSmart website to learn how to avoid investment scams.
Another scam to be aware of is ‘wash trading’ where dubious traders give an impression of high demand for a coin by trading with themselves. Ward adds:
“It is still the Wild West. Investors are handing over banking details to companies based in parts of the world where there is no chance of getting their money back.”
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