French soccer star Kylian Mbappe has filed a complaint in court against a group of scammers who used his image to lure their victims. Mbappe’s image was reportedly used in a campaign that promised its victims that they would make millions in less than three months after investing in digital currencies.
Digital currency scammers have long relied on using celebrity images to attract the attention of their target victims. From inventors like Elon Musk, to entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, to sports personalities like Connor McGregor; no one has been spared. Mbappe is just the latest in what has become one of the industry’s most notorious scamming tricks.
As per French sports daily L’Equippe, the scam campaign spoke to the greed in each one of us, promising incredible returns in less than 90 days. The scammers mainly used an article titled “The latest Kylian Mbappé investment that put pressure on experts and scared big banks.” The article claimed that Mbappe’s investment formula in digital currencies was revolutionary and that it had made him millions in just a short time. In a “number of interviews,” the Paris Saint-Germain striker had reportedly urged everyone to invest in the scheme before the big banks clamped down on it.
Mbappe said he had done no such interviews and his image was used without his consent. He has now moved to court to clear his name and hopefully, get the fraudsters behind it to justice.
The use of the soccer star’s image was strategic, especially given that he is one of the most beloved stars in France. He was critical in France’s World Cup triumph in 2018, where he became the youngest French goal scorer in the competition.
This isn’t the first time that a digital currency scam has targeted the 21-year-old star. In 2019, his Twitter account was hacked, with the hacker asking for €200 in BTC for a shoutout. He urged any interested party to DM. Mbappe’s team was able to recover his account just a few hours later and it’s unlikely that the criminal got to rake in any BTC in the process.
These types of scams are unlikely to end any time soon. And while they may be easy to spot for most digital currency enthusiasts, there are still many out there who fall for them. An investigation by cybersecurity firm Confiant found that one company was making as much as $1 million a day from these click bait campaigns touting digital currencies in just one country. The company, known as FizzCore, was serving up to 14 million celebrity ads on news sites in Germany alone, with one conversion netting it $600 on average.
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