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When celebrities become the faces of social network scams👺

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With the democratization of AI, new scams are flourishing on the web. One of the most widespread involves hijacking interviews with famous personalities to promote stock market investments. Many people have already been victims.

90,000 euros lost following a false advert with Elon Musk

This is the story of Marie (not her real name), as reported by the media outlet Sud Ouest. A woman in her fifties from Hauts-de-Seine, France, was one of the victims. She was lured by an advertisement on Facebook in March 2023. The ad boasted a trading platform allegedly endorsed by celebrities such as Bernard Arnault, Elon Musk and Léa Salamé. Marie quickly filled in an online form and was contacted by a certain « Rachel Pinto » introducing herself as an investment advisor for a trading platform called Nixse, based in Taiwan. Marie invested 800 euros right from the start.

At first, Marie made a few small gains on her trades, but soon she was convinced by Rachel to put in more money. Rachel even advanced her money to invest more. Marie saw her trading account grow, reaching up to 500,000 euros. However, when Marie tried to withdraw her capital, over 90,000 euros, she never received her money back.

Marie still feels deeply affected by this experience, regretting the trust she placed in Rachel. She has sought to recoup some of her losses by contacting the bank ombudsman, but to no avail.

Many victims

This kind of scam is not limited to isolated individuals. Organized criminal groups are behind these scams, using sophisticated techniques to deceive people and evade justice. Some pose as trading professionals, others collect victims’ data via phishing techniques, and still others launder the stolen money with the help of accomplices.

The scam relies on several elements to deceive victims:

  • The use of celebrity images to give the platform an impression of legitimacy.
  • Conspiracy theories to turn victims against traditional institutions.
  • Social engineering techniques to build trust with victims.
  • A sophisticated criminal organization with well-defined roles.

Fighting these scams is very difficult

Faced with the scale of fraud, the authorities are taking action:

  • The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) has tightened its policy against fraudulent websites.
  • Victims can file a complaint and seek to recover their money through legal proceedings.

However, the fight against these scams is complex, and the Nixse platform is still accessible. That’s why it’s important to remain vigilant in the face of miraculous financial investments, and never to invest money without scrupulously checking the platform and the people offering it.

Here are a few tips to help you avoid falling victim to a stock market investment scam:

  • Never trust an investment proposal from someone you don’t know.
  • Check the identity of the platform and make sure it is regulated by a competent authority.
  • Never invest money you can’t afford to lose.
  • Seek advice from reliable sources before making any investment decision.

If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam, report it to the appropriate authorities.

Source : Sud Ouest

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