Financial watchdogs are warning of a scam enticing cryptocurrency investors with false claims of huge profits.
Bitcoin Loophole is advertising on Facebook and other social media sites.
The scam promises high returns against stakes of as low as £250 but fails to deliver, says the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK.
To embellish the claims, the scammers are posting fake celebrity endorsements from well-known business start-up investors who front editions of the popular Dragons’ Den TV series in Britain and Ireland.
One celebrity investor, technology guru Peter Jones, has set a team of lawyers on the scammers after they posted social media adverts alleging he had offered the crooks £2.5 million as a stake in their company.
Fake celebrity claims
“This firm is not authorised by us and is targeting people in the UK. Based upon information we hold, we believe it is carrying on regulated activities which require authorisation,” said a warning posted on the FCA web site.
Besides Bitcoin Loophole, the scammers are trading under the names Bitcoin Trader and xTraderFX.
In the ads, the scammers claim to have made another TV Dragon Deborah Meadon, a £398 profit against her £250 stake in just eight minutes.
Meadon explained she had never invested in the project.
The crooks say in their advertising that they charge a fee from commission profits, but investors say after staking their cash, they receive no profits and cannot get their money refunded.
The entire advert is a fake. The so-called entrepreneurs have never appeared on the TV programme and no Dragon has given them any cash.
Posting on Facebook
The adverts also describe how reviewers made more than £7,000 profits from trading Bitcoin in 15 days and tell how the money was deposited in a bank account within 48 hours.
Along with the rest of the bogus claims, the reviews are fake.
Businesses advertising on Facebook are supposed to enter a tough screening process before their promotion goes live, but Bitcoin Loophole has a page on the network titled The Crypto Loophole.
“There is a quiet revolution happening right now, but you may not realize there is a tremendous opportunity unlike anything we’ve previously seen in humanity,” says the page, which is still live although the post is dated December 2017.
“You’ll learn how to leverage technology so that you don’t have to work as many hours, grow a huge team, be a phenom on the phone, nor be a marketing wizard.”