Fake News Site Used New Zealand Prime Minister to Pump Bitcoin Startup

A fake news site has used the likeness of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to promote articles on Facebook aimed to pump a crypto startup.

Local media source Stuff reported Friday that several sponsored posts had recently emerged on Facebook, featuring the image of the PM with headlines such as “New investment plan for Kiwis” and targeted at different age groups in the country.

The posts linked to a fake news site that appeared to be impersonating CNN Tech, with articles falsely claiming that the country’s Treasury Department had just signed a $250 million deal to buy a company called Bitcoin Revolution.

“This is where the future lies,” the fake article read.

After Stuff reported the posts to Ardern’s office, the latter filed a complaint to Facebook, which then moved to take down the sponsored content, the report said.

Furthermore, it appears that this is not the first time that fake news sites have associated the image of Ardern with cryptocurrency promotions. A spokeswoman for the PM’s office was quoted as saying that the number of such fake ads has become too large for them to track.

They said:

“We aren’t able to manually or digitally monitor the increasing volume of fake news that fraudulently uses images of the Prime Minister.”

The news is yet another instance in which crypto scammers have been using social media giants to promote fake campaigns targeting internet users.

As CoinDesk reported just yesterday, a verified Twitter account impersonating entrepreneur Elon Musk had been allowed to promote a tweet for a crypto giveaway scam.

Jacinda Ardern image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Colman Ma
Colman is a technology writer covering gadgets and general tech trends. Colman is a geek at heart and loves anything that has a chip in it.

Popular Reads

This virtual keyboard wants people to rethink the language used to describe girls

Can a virtual keyboard foster positive self-esteem in girls? The Finnish branch of humanitarian agency Plan International thinks so, and has built a new...

The ‘Stories’ format is coming to Google search next

How To Utilize Google AMP Google is starting a programmer preview of some thing that it's calling "AMP Stories," which are just two words which...

The head of the NBA wants his games to look more like Twitch

TV viewership is dropping across the board — including for live sports, which were supposed to be immune to shrinking ratings. NBA boss Adam Silver...