Maltese Financial Watchdog Exposes Fake Bitcoin Investment Scheme Author: Jimmy Aki Last Updated: 31 October 2019 The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), the top financial authority in Malta, is bringing the persistent operation of a Bitcoin scam technique to the notice of the general public. According to an official warning published on October 31, the financial watchdog issues a complaint concerning “Bitcoin Future,” a cryptocurrency investment scheme which it believes shares the same fraudulent nature as “Bitcoin Revolution,” a scam which it has repeatedly identified this year already. A scam that won’t die In one of the complaints, which was filed on August 29, the MFSA’s description for the Bitcoin Revolution and its operation showed that it was no more than the normal celebrity scam. The platform linked to false advertising from local celebrities whom it claimed to have made investments in it, while also releasing fake financial reports as a means to woo potential investors in it. As the MFSA notes, the former seems to be sharing some of the same characteristics of the latter, possibly meaning that the same operators are behind it as well. The agency points out that the operators seem to simply be rebranding their scam every time they get caught, adding a few more layers of corporate branding to avoid detection at each successive try. However, after examining their operation at a more holistic level, they were able to point to specific URLs where fake ads and other promotional material are being hosted. “Bitcoin Future is promoting itself by means of fake news articles which misuse images of local personalities and images of local government institutions. The fake articles are advertised on various social media platforms and falsely claim to be linked to these individuals,” the watchdog says in part. The MFSA also argues that Bitcoin Future isn’t even registered in the country, meaning that it has not been authorized to provide any financial services to or from the country. In addition to that, the company has also been flagged for not operating under the provisions enclosed in Article 62 of Malta’s Virtual Financial Assets Act. In summary, it alleges that Bitcoin Future is no more than a “get rich quick” scam, further asking anyone to refrain from doing business or conducting any transactions with the business. Remember Bitcoin profit? Although they were hugely popular in the heydays of the crypto scape, celebrity cryptocurrency scams have definitely declined in prominence among criminals. However, this doesn’t mean that there are some people looking to take advantage of the lack of knowledge surrounding the space to make a quick buck. In September, reports surfaced about economicsworld[dot]info, the dedicated website for a celebrity crypto scam known as “Bitcoin Profit.” According to a report from news medium Cointelegraph, Bitcoin Profit had gotten fake testimonies from popular figures such as actress Kate Winslet, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and Tesla Motors chief executive Elon Musk. Other celebrities include popular Australian businessman Andrew Forrest and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson. Every celebrity has a special feature on the platform, which includes their photograph, a testimonial, and a balance sheet that contains their alleged investment and expected returns. Scammers claimed that a $10,394 investment could yield $412,226 in a week, marking an outrageous ROI of about 4,110 percent.