Tech & Science : NAB investigating after Mike Baird exploited in 'fake news' Facebook scam - - PressFrom - Australia
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Tech & Science NAB investigating after Mike Baird exploited in 'fake news' Facebook scam

02:06  31 october  2019
02:06  31 october  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

Schoolboy error! Cops troll a driver after spotting his fake number plate - which includes a VERY embarrassing spelling mistake

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Waleed Aly, Mike Baird, Ben Justus are posing for a picture: The paid ads linked to a fake interview between Waleed Aly and Mike Baird. (Supplied)© Provided by Australian Broadcasting Corporation The paid ads linked to a fake interview between Waleed Aly and Mike Baird. (Supplied)

National Australia Bank (NAB) is investigating after former NSW premier Mike Baird, who is one of its executives, was caught up in a sophisticated "fake news" scam online.

The ABC has identified hundreds of Facebook advertisements which use Mr Baird's image and fabricated quotes to plug a "wealth loophole" advising investors to buy bitcoin.

The ads direct users to a fake article which attributes reporting to some of Australia's biggest media brands, including the ABC, News Corp and Channel 10's The Project.

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In a statement, a NAB spokesperson said: "We are aware of 'fake news' sites and advertisements that reference Mike Baird and confirm he is not associated with the companies or products mentioned.

"We encourage Australians who come across these scam sites to avoid clicking on the links and report where possible to the administrator of platform where the ads are hosted."

The ABC understands the bank's head of security is investigating the articles, which encourage people in to buy cryptocurrency as part of a "pump and dump" scheme.

In this type of financial fraud, consumers are promised a quick payout if they buy digital currencies.

As they scramble to buy in — or "pump" — the value of the cryptocurrency rises.

The scammers then sell their own share — or "dump" — in the overvalued currency, prompting its value to plummet.

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In the past three days, over 75 sponsored posts featuring Mr Baird were made "active" on Facebook.

The ads were identical but existed under different ID numbers, which meant even if one was flagged by a user and automatically taken down, other versions would still exist.

One Queensland-based Facebook user said he had reported the ad over nine times across a 20-day period but was still seeing them every day.

A Facebook spokesperson said the company was "putting significant resources towards tackling these kind of ads" and encouraged users to report suspicious accounts.

"It's important to us that ads on Facebook are useful to people and not used to promote deceptive behaviour, like misusing images of public figures to mislead people," they said.

Several ads and pages on the social media platform were removed after the ABC flagged it with Facebook.

The ABC has tracked the origin of the posts to an account based in Italy.

The account was created in the past two months, and has accumulated more than 10,000 "likes".

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