LORD Alan Sugar has warned Brits against Bitcoin scams using his name, urging them to steer clear.
Fraudsters are using ads featuring celebrities to tempt you into giving your cash away.
The Apprentice host, 71, took to Twitter to warn his followers about a fake Bitcointrader advert pretending he is endorsing an investment.
He wrote on Twitter: "WARNING: Please ignore an advert from Bitcointrader suggesting I endorse their offerings.
"They are SCUM it is a total scam. Please pass this on to all your friends particularly the elderly who are falling for this terrible scam."
Clicking on the advert usually takes you to the fraudster's website where the pictures are used again – along with fake quotes recommending that you invest in the scheme.
You might also be asked to input your contact details, which scammers will then use to try and persuade you to invest.
The scam ads are placed on social media networks like Facebook and other websites and use the celebs' images to promote the fraudulent investments.
Action fraud figures released exclusively to The Sun Online show 1,639 scams were reported in 2017, with the majority of those related to online shopping.
These are only official figures, so it's likely there could be countless more victims who have been duped.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM ONLINE SCAMS
ONLINE scams are a danger to both your personal details and your cash. Here are some tips you need to be aware of, according to Action Fraud.
- Protect yourself – Always be suspicious. Don't assume anyone who has sent you an email or text message or has left a voice is who they say they are.
If the message asks you to make a payment, log-in to an online account or offers you a deal, be extremely cautious.
Banks will never email you for passwords or any other sensitive information by asking you to click on a link or visit a website.
- Spot the signs – Always check spellings and grammar of an email or website. If it's poorly designed and contains lots of errors, the website probably isn't legit. Genuine businesses won't use web-based email addresses such as Gmail or Yahoo.
- Make sure the sites are verified – Facebook, Twitter and other social media can also be used to direct you to a spoof website.
Official accounts are "verified" and come with checkmark icon next to their name – so make sure you check.
Victims on average lost £342 but in 24 cases Brits reported being scammed out of more than £10,000.
MoneySavingExpert's Martin Lewis has been fighting an ongoing battle with crooks using his images online to dupe Brits into parting with their hard-earned savings.
He spoke to the Sun Online about his anger and frustration that his image was being used to scam people.
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Dragon Den's Start Deborah Meaden's image has also been used to promote cryptocurrency scams.
Last year, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) banned three Facebook ads from two separate companies, one which offered financial advice and the other a PPI claims firm – all three used his face.
SCAM ALERT Inside the murky world of Facebook scams – how fraudsters are using famous faces to con people out of cash
Even the city watchdog is concerned about the rise in these type of scams, with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warning young Brits not to be taken in by dodgy investments that are advertised on social media.
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