IN SHORT: A Facebook account using the Lithuanian prime minister’s photo is pushing a cryptocurrency investment scheme. But Africa Check couldn’t find any links between the account and the prime minister and users are encouraged to steer clear.
The Facebook account David Martha promises Nigerians that their money is safe with this trading company and urges them to invest with it.
“What we do here is Bitcoin mining and binary options trade, we manage account and trade for a client with dynamic software ‘which enable you earn ten times of your investment (ROI) capital as your profit after 48 hours’. Our trading session you Invest to make profit,” reads one of the account’s posts.
The 2 October 2023 post says users need a Bitcoin wallet or bank account and the “minimum capital investment”.
Bitcoin is a digital currency that has no regulatory body.
But is the account and its offerings to be trusted?
Signs of a scam
The first red flag is that the account claims to offer users “ten times” profits in 48 hours. The timeframe and the profit margin are hints that this post cannot be trusted, as this is unrealistic.
The use of the photo of Lithuania’s prime minister appears to be an attempt to cement the account’s legitimacy. But the account, which has just six followers, clearly does not represent Šimonytė.
Africa Check found Šimonytė’s official Facebook page. It is verified by Meta and has over 90,000 followers. We couldn’t find any posts about Bitcoin, investment offers or trading on her official account.
In a 2022 report, the Federal Trade Commission found that most scammers preferred Bitcoin as a form of payment or “initial investment”, as they put it. The US-based commission, aimed at protecting consumers and their economic lives, noted that over 46,000 people had lost more than US$1 billion to cryptocurrency scams since 2021.
To help protect yourself against online scams, read our guide to Facebook scams and how to spot them.
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