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The get rich quick scheme being pumped on LinkedIn

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It all looks so viable: Henry Golding, the star of the fantastically successful film "Crazy Rich Asians", in an interview with the very credible Singapore newspaper The Straits Times, says he's making shed loads of money in an automated trading scheme endorsed by, amongst others, Bill Gates. And it's floated around LinkedIn for a while. We took a look.

*The full text of the advertisement is on the last three pages of this article. This is for information only and is not in any way an endorsement. *

Our suspicions were aroused by the breathy enthusiasm of what is supposedly an article in a serious newspaper. Also, even though this thing has been floating around for some time, in the corner of today's promo is today's date. There was just enough mention of risk to suggest that someone is aware that losses might be made. But those losses are immediately recovered and a huge amount of profit made. And, of course, the fact that it's a "wealth loophole" that has the banks "terrified" all gives an impression of something that will make people very rich. And, the page says, it has. One "testimonial" says that a chap's young brother wanted a Ferrari so he used Bitcoin Future and was able to buy one in a very short time.

But, back to Henry Golding. The purported Straits Times article says "English-Malaysian actor, model and television host Henry Golding has made a name for himself as a brash straight-talker who doesn’t mind being honest about how he makes his money." That's weird. Golding's done some telly, mostly local stuff, but surely if the plan is to use him for endorsement, it would make sense to use his big thing: the lead in Crazy Rich Asians. But no, it focuses on a supposed appearance on Singapore local TV program "Hello Singapore." That's a real programme from the close-to-state owned media group MediaCorp (it's actually owned by the Singapore Government's investment company Tamasek). Singapore TV doesn't broadcast risky stuff. The advert uses the image and name of LIN Youyi, who has been a host of Channel 8's Hello Singapore since 2014. However, it is by no means clear when or if that "interview" actually took place. The image of Miss Lin is far from current.

The story is that OCBC, a bank in which Temasek is a large investor, telephoned Channel 8 and tried to block the broadcast. That makes no sense if it was live so that's more "not quite right."

According to the article, "Bitcoin Future lets you profit from all of these cryptocurrencies, even in a bear market. It uses artifical intelligence (AI) to automatically handle long and short selling for you so you can make money around the clock, even while you sleep." That sounds like fun. For sure, it's enough to encourage one to keep reading but it's the next part of the "article" that is the most persuasive " Bitcoin Future is backed by some of the smartest tech minds to ever exist. Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Bill Gates just to name a few. . There's even a photo to prove it.

Nor is this "the Singaporean business magnate dropped a bomb: "What's made me successful is jumping into new opportunies quickly- without any hesitation. And right now, my number one money-maker is a new cryptocurrency auto-trading program called Bitcoin Future. It's the single biggest opportunity I've seen in my entire lifetime to build a small fortune fast. I urge everyone to check this out before the banks shut it down."

That's when the supposed Straits Times interview was arranged. Across the top of the "article" is "as seen in Today, The New Paper, BT (i.e. Business Times), The Independent and Singapore Business Review.

And there's the heartwarming story of "Mark" a "36-year-old father of 2 children whose wife lost her job last year due to illness." Luckily, he is, the article says, working with the newspaper and was chosen to test out the scheme because "Our senior editors wouldn't let us to publish the interview with Henry Golding until we verified that Bitcoin Future is a legitimate make-money-from-home opportunity. Our corporate leadership did not want us releasing any information that could potentially cause citizens of Singapore to lose their hard-earned money. "

He gushes. He makes money. Lots of money. Apparently. There's a photo of a cheque drawn on Singapore's DBS Bank Limited, in which the largest shareholder is, no surprise, Temasek Holdings.

Our legal teams work hard to take down these fake stories or companies misrepresenting us. In the last year we’ve dealt with hundreds of instances. We are doing all we can and the police also work tirelessly to shut down the major operations. We also contact the social networks where the fake stories are being spread and urge them to take the stories down and do more to proactively stop them appearing in the first place.

- Richard Branson

So, it's a scam. With that in mind, a test still seemed a bit fun.

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