A prominent TV presenter in New Zealand has denied claims that he has been promoting Bitcoin using his social media platform.
Duncan Garner, who hosts The AM Show on Three, was accused of running adverts promoting the use of the cryptocurrency.
The ads were believed to be associated with a number of common hallmarks of crypto scams, including images of luxury items such as fast cars.
Garner explained, however, that the adverts were in fact spam.
“It’s not me”, he said in an interview after the allegations surfaced. “That is not me on Facebook pumping up Bitcoin.”
“They’re not my cars, I don’t do Bitcoin – I don’t do any of that ‘coin’.”
He also explained that he was not a regular user of social media. “I haven’t been on Facebook for a couple of years”, he said.
However, not everyone appears to have been satisfied by his explanation – and some have even asked him for advice having seen “posts” which appear to have gone out in his name.
“But people say, ‘Hey, you’re pushing Bitcoin. How’s it going?’”, he recounted.
The issue of privacy on social media is currently a live one in New Zealand after it was revealed that the country’s government had had one of its systems hacked.
Hackers were able to access a number of key pieces of personal information about the country’s citizens, including information about driving licenses, passports and more.
In a statement which also carried relevance for Garner’s case, the country’s Privacy Commissioner John Edwards said that “there’s no end” to the risks of what can happen when digital fraud is left unchecked.
“Their reputation can be tarnished”, he said.
“People can set up fake social media accounts under their name – there’s no end to it”, he added.
Garner is far from the first to be accused of promoting crypto when in fact the problem is coming from spammers and other scam artists.
This sort of fake promotion can occur in a number of ways. Some people have reported clicking on a so-called “bad link” and discovering that malware has been downloaded to their computers.
Social media is not the only place in which problems can arise. Emails are also a fertile ground for crypto scams of this nature.
Just this year, for example, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates a range of markets in the country, was forced to explain that it was not responsible for an email circulated in its name which was titled “guaranteed chance to earn”.
The email, which also contained its logo and a range of other pieces of content designed to enhance its legitimacy, was fake.
In a statement, the Financial Conduct Authority informed traders of ways to avoid such scams.
“Look for signs that the email, letter or phone call may not be from us, such as it listing a mobile or overseas contact phone number, an email address from a hotmail or gmail account, or a foreign PO Box number”, it said.