By Pasqueline Agostinho
A bitcoin scam advertisement shown on the news feed of Microsoft Edge has been using Alex Ferguson to steal people’s money.
The advertisement in question aims to persuade people to sign up for a fake bitcoin site called “Immediate Edge”. By clicking on the advertisement, it redirects you to a site with the BBC layout, only to see that the URL is completely different. Other similar scam advertisements have been displayed in article layouts including Forbes, Daily Mirror, and People magazine.
The red text and the mentioning of an author “Daniel Robertson” is unusual for a BBC article, not to mention the font of the text below. According to the article, Ferguson has announced “Immediate Edge” and benefitted from the site making millions of pounds from the investment site. The article also uses other people who have apparently benefitted from the bitcoin site. But none of this is true. The former football manager has never announced such a site. The comments on the site and similar sites like these are all fake.
Last year, the Financial Conduct Authority recognised “Immediate Edge” as being associated with scammers and believed that the “firm has been providing financial services or products in the UK” without the conduct’s authorisation.
A Microsoft spokesperson said: “Deceptive advertisements are an industry-wide issue, and as soon as we become aware of them, we take action to remove them and refine filters to help prevent reoccurrence. We’re continuing to enhance our systems and working with our partners to detect, block and remove fraudulent advertisements more effectively.”
The National Cyber Security Centre was asked to comment on the matter but did not respond.
In January 2019, top financial advisor Martin Lewis settled a lawsuit with Facebook to donate £3 million to anti-scam charity after he sued the platform in April 2018 for defamation. Facebook had allowed 1,000 scam adverts using Lewis’ name in one year.
Beware of other scam advertisements shown on your Bing feed. Other celebrities who have been featured include Gordon Ramsay and David Attenborough with other fake bitcoin sites used like Bitcoin Era, Bitcoin Trader and Bitcoin Revolution.
If you have been a victim of fraud or scam, or know someone has been a victim, or spot a scam or fraud, you can call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit their website at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk.