Lola Índigo, Martiño Rivas and Cristina Pedroche are the most famous celebrities to be replaced in the network

Online scams are commonplace.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
15 May 2024 Wednesday 23:03
8 Reads
Lola Índigo, Martiño Rivas and Cristina Pedroche are the most famous celebrities to be replaced in the network

Online scams are commonplace. Cybercriminals constantly manage to empty their victims' bank accounts. One of the claims that works best for them is to use celebrities as a hook to deceive. Actors, singers, presenters and generally recognized names, who arouse admiration and trust, are used without their consent to carry out these frauds on the Internet. In some of them, these celebrities supposedly reveal how to earn millions of euros with an investment platform.

The Maldita.es foundation, a non-profit organization that fights misinformation, has carried out an investigation into fraudulent ads on X (Twitter) impersonating celebrities and media outlets in the last three months. The most impersonated celebrities in the 165 promoted publications that have been analyzed are Lola Índigo, Martiño Rivas and Cristina Pedroche. Each of these ads reached 368,000 users on average and were viewed a minimum of 76 million times in total.

These supposed advertisements that use the image of public figures and the media redirect to web pages that offer false investments in cryptocurrencies where they steal personal data from users or encourage them to make a “first investment” that is never recovered. Maldita.es has collected examples of this type of promoted posts.

The accounts that published the promoted tweets were a few months old and all had the blue tick of the X Premium payment service, formerly Twitter Blue. These managed to increase the visibility of the publications by investing in advertising through X Ads.

The ads reached 368,000 users on average and were viewed a minimum of 76 million times combined. The most viewed publication reached almost four million impressions. Most ads were programmed to be shown to users over 25 years of age located in Spain.

The image of the singer Lola Índigo, with 51 publications, was the most repeated in the advertisements, followed by the Galician actor Martiño Rivas (41) and the television presenter Cristina Pedroche (35). The most impersonated medium was El País, in approximately 87% of the links.

Four out of every five false interviews analyzed directed to the 'Quantum AI' website, an entity that already appears in the warning register of the National Securities Market Commission and has been designated by it as "financial fraud."

The scam is developed in three steps: publications promoted with images of well-known people that capture attention, websites that impersonate the media with false interviews that provide credibility, and entities that offer false investments to obtain the personal data or money of the users. users.

Maldita.es has received testimonies from users who fell for the scam promoted through X Ads and even made the initial investment of 250 euros. Some report having been victims of telephone harassment after entering their data on these pages of false investment entities. Others explained that despite blocking the accounts that posted the ads on a daily basis, new promoted posts from new accounts were constantly emerging following the exact same pattern.

According to the report, the social network stopped the promotion of 35.15% of the ads analyzed. For the rest, there is no type of information. Thus, Maldita.es concludes that X acts inconsistently since it alleges different reasons for moderation on publications that follow exactly the same pattern. 32.76% of the publications for which data is available contain, according to X, illegal content. Most of the remaining ads were classified by the company as violations of its internal policies.