Scams like the Bitcoin Trader, Bitcoin Loophole, and Bitcoin Code are very quickly evolving to be the preferred get-rich-quick crypto schemes among advertisers and affiliate networks. The reasons for this vary, but the modus operandi is always the same. Marketers understand that in order to be effective they have to cut through the clutter and instill a sense of legitimacy and trust with their potential victims (that’s you). Human beings have developed ways to deal with the massive amounts of information which is being delivered to them via internet, TV, chat, email, or text messages. So in order to make fast semantic decisions people take “short cuts” and marketers understand that one of the ways to get customers to engage more is by showing them an authority image they are familiar with such as a well-known actor or celebrity, and turning them into the product spokesperson.
We have seen this in various commercials or infomercials where sports stars or actors sell expensive watches, food or attire. Such is the case with the Bitcoin Trader scam, but the problem with this system (as well as others) is that the actors have not given their permission to use their images and reputation in order to peddle fraudulent crypto trading software. In fact, part of the problem has to do with the fact that big corporations and advertising agencies such as Facebook and Google are allowing this to happen by letting these crooks advertise openly on their platforms. Thankfully, both of these giants have now made a decision to ban any form of Bitcoin or cryptocurrency advertising. However, this does not mean the scams will stop. Instead, the advertisers will purchase media ads with other companies and spammers will become more in demand.
In our original Bitcoin Trader review, our staff has identified and exposed the scam websites and tactics utilized by the scammers and we shall go one by one and explain how the scams operate and what to avoid.
Here we see a banner advertisement illegally using the image and reputation of a well-known UK site owner named Martin Lewis. His site offers money saving tips and ideas and apparently he is well known and recognized. The scammers recognized this and immediately went to work. We found the banner below on a Google Ads advertisement which specifically says “Martin’s new venture helps British families earn a second income”.
After you click on the banner or bait, you are redirected to what is commonly referred to in professional terms as a “system page”.
The System Page (Fake News)
The page below is the first in 3 websites you will be funneled into. It contains fake news and extremely misleading information about how to generate a second income. You can clearly see they are also using a page with the UK Mirror logo, which just ads another layer of deceptiveness. In his website it says he is suing Facebook for letting scammers use his name and reputation without consent.
Ironically, since this latest development was unleashed on the internet Mr. Lewis’ site received more visitors that he could ever imagine. So in a way, he should be thanking the scammers for generating much interest around his business and producing more visitors to his service instead of suing them.
Bitcoin Trader Shark Tank and Elon Musk Fake News
Another example of fake news which is now flooding the internet has to do with the Shark Tank cast being used for the same purposes. In this case we see it in a fake health news site which is using cloaking and phishing techniques in order to bait unsuspecting victims.
As you scroll down it is plain to see the Step 1, 2, and 3 which are being spoon-fed to viewers as they continue engaging in the content. In reality, when they fill out their details they are signing up for a broker, now in most cases this is not even mentioned anywhere as people get cold feet when they understand they are being persuaded to join a Forex or CFD broker. In this case it is FTO Capital which has been leaving us messages on a daily basis and badgering our research and moderation staff as they don’t want their name and reputation damaged. Well, FTO Capital is one example of how brokers integrate with get-rich-quick crypto scams.
The Complicit Broker and the Revenue Share Scheme
It is plain to see in the image above that the brokers are the clients and the marketers i.e the affiliate networks and media companies are the suppliers and they provide the traders. That is how the system works and why get rich quick scams like the Ethereum Code attract many viewers.
High Profile Public Figures
Marketers have taken a more brazen approach recently and are now showing total disrespect for well-known and reputable public figures. In the image below we can clearly see how a big media campaign using native ads has used and abused the name and reputation of Jon Key who is the former Prime Minister of New Zealand.
In this campaign entitled the “Bitcoin Loophole” Key is shown holding up 10 dollar Kiwi bills under the subject “Kiwi’s Everywhere are using this time make $750/day and quit their jobs!” It’s worth mentioning that the Bitcoin Loophole has evolved and the graphic scheme has changed in order to “throw off the scent” after many news sites and blogs have exposed this latest scam.
Copy and Paste
Using variations of the same design in order to attract a larger audience is not a new phenomenon. Here we see how the same images used for the Shark Tank scam now being used with the cast of Ireland’s Dragons Den.
Logos of reputable media outlets such as the BBC, Daily Mail, and the Guardian reveal the United Kingdom nationals are being targeted in this campaign. A quick look below will show the sales pitch or what is referred to in professional terms as “text anchors”. We can see that it says “these two university mates created, Bitcoin Code, a simple push-button bitcoin trading platform”. Professional marketers understand that most people read the first paragraph and skip to the image and the text below, hence that is a very important place to relay the main message or idea.
Big Advertising Budgets and Open Wallets
We have recently seen Google, Facebook, and now Twitter ban Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency advertising campaigns. It’s no secret virtual currencies have been receiving bad press and branded by many as a scam. The truth is that there are a lot of positive developments happening with cryptocurrencies as government-prompted regulation is starting to kick in based on the understanding societies will be more decentralized and cryptocurrency-oriented in the near future. In this context, corporations and big business is tossing the proverbial baby out with the dirty water. They need to understand that in market demand there is no vacuum and that these budgets will now be allocated to big media agencies instead of social networks or Google. So, as long as there is someone out there willing to pay the big bucks the campaigns will continue but arrive through different media channels.
Fake News, The Curse of a New Generation
We have all heard about it and understand that it’s out there. The recent debacle with Facebook and Cambridge Analytica has revealed how susceptible we are and easily influenced by seemingly legit advertisements. When faced with the question “is this really trustworthy?”, we always recommend to take the old school approach and consult with people you trust such as family and friends. Usually you will get a straight answer without any form of bias.
Who Are The People Behind Scams Like The Bitcoin Trader?
These people are modern day crooks and con artists. They started out promoting Forex and Binary Options and are now riding the Bitcoin wave of popularity. In most cases they will own a big affiliate network or have access to advertising dollars which is being supplied by brokers who are very comfortable using a third party for advertising and in this way stay insulated from legal backlash.
A Grim Outlook For The Future
Looking forward towards 2019 it is plain to see that we shall continue to see a growth in fake ICO’s, Ponzi Schemes, HYIP’s, and get-rich-quick crypto scams such as the Bitcoin Trader. It’s no surprise people have become distrustful of their surroundings and are starting to question everything. This is a natural evolution and a welcome development as smart consumers are starting to realize the environment around them is constantly changing.