Current Affairs
Gullible Maltese fall prey to misleading Facebook adverts

False advertising on Facebook with stories about how Maltese personalities became millionaires after investing their monies, is misleading. The National Campaign for Awareness and Education on  Digital Security is advising the public to take care and not to fall into the trap laid by these misleading adverts which can have serious financial consequences.

A number of Maltese have already been ‘bitten’ by these decetful schemes, which are beng investigated by the Police Cyber Crime Unit with the assistance of Europol.

The misleading adverts promise huge profits within a short time for those who invest in bitcoin, which appears to have been a good bait for gullible Maltese investors.

This has been confirmed to TVM by Police who are investigating these misleading adverts which use the faces of Maltese personalities and link false stories of how they became rich through their investments.

Inspector Timothy Zammit from the Cyber Crime Unit stated that in recent weeks the Police, together with Europol, started investigating these adverts following reports they received, both by the personalities who were ‘used’ in these adverts as well as by others who invested their monies in the schemes.

“Indications we have so far are that these persons are not operating from Malta, and likewise, they are outside the European Union. This presents another challenge to the Police, as in such cases we depend to a large extent on the collaboration of the authorities from the countries where these people are holed up,” the Inspector explained.

Inspector Zammit added that adverts which promise large returns should immediately be suspicious in themselves.

“It is important for investors to invest through a reputable company which is licenced to operate in Malta. Anyone experiencing difficulties should have recourse to the regulator for a remedy. When a person does not know who he or she is dealing with at the other end, they obviously should not entrust their savings to that person.”

Referring to the adverts on Facebook, Inspector Zammit stated that the first inkling of misleading adverts is that they are first posted on Facebook pages not related to investment.

“In the majority of cases, the page will have kicked off on another topic, like a healthy lifestyle, and after it has generated a substantial number of likes, what we refer to as ‘like farming’, the page content then undergoes a change. One notices, in fact, that the page name, in this case ‘healthy lifestyle’, is contradictory to the content, as despite the name, the page is devoted to investment.

As the saying goes, money doesn’t grow on trees, and one can easily lose one’s savings if one is gullible enough to fall for these misleading adverts.

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