Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister, was targetted by scammers to promote a cryptocurrency scam. Bitcoin scams are and have been a part of the crypto world ever since the introduction of cryptocurrencies in the world. Scammers used the identity of the Jacinda Ardern to gain the mass support of the public for their cryptocurrency startup.
Facebook advertisements that contained pictures of Jacinda Ardern were used to generate fake news in order to sell the cryptocurrency. Facebook ads directed the targetted New Zealanders to a fake news story which claimed that the New Zealand Treasury, itself, was investing funds in that particular bitcoin startup.
After government came to know about the fake news that specifically stated that about half of the of national funds were invested in that startup, officials from Prime Minister’s office responded and acted by reporting the ads immediately to Facebook.
About fake ads on Facebook, there were series of them targetting different age groups with different titles. Like the one that aimed to target age group of 30 to 45 years old people was titled as ‘Every Kiwi age between 30 and 45 must NOT miss this.’ Moreover, besides these types of titles, pictures of Jacinda were employed. In one of the ad’s featured image, Jacinda was pictured with U.S president Donald Trump, while on another one she was pictured with New Zealand’s national currency.
This is not the first time for a New Zealand native to be exploited by scammers for promoting a cryptocurrency. Last year, former New Zealand’s prime minister, John Key was also involved in a propaganda to promote the purchase of bitcoin.
Even at that time, fake ads on social websites, Twitter and Facebook, were created. Those ads linked the users to a website that looked liked NZ Herald. Key’s statement was quoted on that fake website. His fake statement promoted the use of bitcoin and explained his personal account on the benefits he earned because of investing in bitcoin.
Previously, Michael Tozoni, bitcoin economist, talked to BlockPublisher about bitcoin’s affiliation, apart from these scams, with the political system. He predicted:
I suspect bitcoin will eventually be very popular for paying politicians under the table.