The government of Abu Dhabi has warned residents to avoid a new Bitcoin trading scam that promises to make them rich in as little as seven days. According to a report from The National, the scheme falsely claims support from Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, the UAE’s Crown Prince:
The fraud uses a fake news story to claim Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, had introduced and personally endorsed a scheme that costs almost Dh1,000 to join but would make participants “rich in seven days.”
The criminals behind the scam have reportedly tricked thousands of people into providing personal information like phone numbers and email addresses. They also utilized a post on their Facebook page to direct victims to the fake news story. The post reportedly used a picture of the Crown Prince and included the word “sponsored” to suggest that he backed the scheme.
The scheme attempted to convince people to spend the equivalent of $250 to sign up to the website Bitcoin Loophole, which has been identified as a scam trading platform that claims its users typically earn at least $13,000 a day.
The National confirmed that it contacted Facebook to ask about the matter, and the company moved quickly to delete the page and post. A company spokesperson reportedly said that “claiming to be another person on Facebook violates our community standards.”
Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Media Office issued a statement reminding UAE residents to be vigilant:
“It is strongly advised that people check the authenticity of campaigns asking for pledges or donations in case of fraud, particularly online and on social media.
Authorised communications for Abu Dhabi, its leaders and its government are shared through ADMO channels @admediaoffice and mediaoffice.abudhabi.”