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Daily fraud update: 5th February

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Elon Musk wades into Bitcoin fraud debate

Entrepreneur Elon Musk has taken to Twitter to express his views on the topic of crypto fraud.

Musk, who runs the innovative car firm Tesla as well as the company SpaceX, used the social networking site to claim that levels of such fraud were rising dramatically.

“The crypto fraud level on Twitter has reached a new level”, he wrote on Saturday.

“That’s not cool”, he added.

Musk, who has over 30m followers, received a range of feedback on his post.

It picked up over 2,000 likes and was retweeted 170 times.

He was replying to a post from an account called Niche Gamer, who claimed: “Even verified accounts are now being hacked and pushing fake bitcoin scams.”

Users also sent Musk a range of replies.

“They need to get rid of all these fake bots”, wrote one.

When asked by another user what Musk believes could be done, he replied with a range of advice.

“Report as soon as you see it”, he said.

“Troll/bot networks on Twitter are a *dire* problem for adversely affecting public discourse & ripping people off.

“Just dropping their prominence as a function of probable gaming of the system would be a big improvement”, he added.

He also drew a distinction between the response of social networking sites to crypto fraud and the response of search engines – which, he appeared to imply, had done a better job of tackling it.

“This was a huge problem for search engines until Google applied the citation relevance principle aka PageRank, among many other things”, he said.

“Trolls/bots just need to be deemphasized relative to probable real people who aren’t being paid to push an agenda or scam.

“Google still shows bs/scam pages, they’re just several clicks away”, he said.

Ugandan government warns people off Ponzi schemes – and crypto

The Ugandan Ministry of Finance has urged people in the country not to invest in cryptocurrency schemes while also urging them off Ponzi schemes.

Press reports say that the country’s Minister of State for Finance, David Bahati, claimed that there should be outright avoidance of crypto.

“To that end, we have continued to advise the public to desist from investing in crypto-currencies, since they are yet to be supervised and regulated in Uganda”, he said.

He also encouraged people in the country to invest only in properly-regulated schemes.

“We have therefore strongly encouraged the members of the public to do their business transactions with only licensed financial institutions”, he added.

However, he did appear to indicate that he was aware of what the differences are between cryptocurrencies and Ponzi schemes.

“As I stated earlier, it is important to note that Ponzi and Pyramid schemes are fraudulent investment scams promising high rates of return of between 30% & 40% with little or no indication of risk to investors”, he added.