A Facebook scam has been targeting United Arab Emirates residents, The National writes. Scammers used the image of Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince, claiming he endorses the Bitcoin projects and is helping people make profits. According to the report, the scam was disseminated on Facebook via a sponsored post, which has been shared thousands of times and has generated even more comments. However, at the moment, it is not certain how many people were tricked into sending their money.
Fraudsters promised that the scheme, which cost AED 1,000 (approximately $270), would make people “rich in seven days.” The sponsored post included a fake quote from the Crown Prince, claiming the scheme was his “way of giving back to the people.”
The post linked to a fake news story that mixed facts with fabrications; it included a fake quote from Bill Gates and as well as a fictitious tweet from Sheikh Mohamed. The story itself was penned by a nonexistent journalist Michael Alvarado, and used a picture of a U.S.-based freelance journalist Timothy Seppala, who had been unaware his picture was used for a scam.
Since the scam has been unearthed, the Facebook page used for the scam has been deleted.
The Abu Dhabi Media Office has urged people to “check the authenticity of campaigns asking for pledges or donations in case of fraud, particularly online and on social media.”