Beware of bogus Bransons, says Virgin founder Sir Richard
Sir Richard Branson has released an animated guide to help people spot a scam as part of the fightback against online fraud.
The guide – available to view at www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHteF0Bksok&feature=youtu.be – warns people to watch out for bogus Bransons, as scammers may use the Virgin founder’s name and image online.
Sir Richard does not promote “get-rick-quick” opportunities such as cryptocurrency schemes – even though stories claiming this may appear online.
Fraudsters may target people who comment or post on high-profile social media pages – including Sir Richard’s.
They may impersonate senior management from Virgin and share links and ask for fees or information to trick people into giving their cash or personal data.
Animated Sir Richard points out: “Scammers are contacting people who post on our social feeds.
“Even if it’s a verified account, know that I never direct message anyone, nor does my team.
“I never endorse any get-rich-quick schemes – this is a sure-fire way to lose your investment.”
To step up the fight against scammers, Virgin has opened its own reporting portal at virgin.com/online-scams and is urging people to report any cases featuring Sir Richard or Virgin that seem suspicious.
“At Virgin, we’re working hard to unmask scammers,” said Sir Richard.
“Only trust what we post on our official channels. Help us stop scammers and report anything you think is suspicious. If you think it’s a con, send it on.”
In 2017, Sir Richard managed to avoid being conned himself, when someone posing as a government official requested financial assistance to pay the ransom for a supposed kidnapping victim.
When further inquiries were made to check the request was legitimate, it was confirmed that it was not.
Virgin also recommends that people report suspected scams to Action Fraud, the UK’s fraud reporting centre.