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NatWest compiles Celebrity Scam Super League table

NatWest compiles Celebrity Scam Super League table

Dragons Den star Peter Jones and national treasure Sir David Attenborough top the list of NatWest celebrity scam ads used by fraudsters to steal millions of pounds in cash from gullible consumers.

The table features the highest value cases in which a celebrity image has been used to lure consumers into making a bogus investment.

Over £285k was lost after a consumer responded to a promotional article featuring an interview with Peter Jones which looked like a genuine newspaper interview.

Sir David Attenborough features at number two on the list. A customer lost £275k after seeing an advertisement on Twitter. The advert featured an image of Attenborough alongside text falsely claiming he makes £125k per month from stocks and shares related to gold, natural gas and oil.

The majority of scam ads appear on social media. Facebook and Twitter feature within the top seven cases in the Scam Super League. Twitter owner Elon Musk was used in an advert which ended up costing a consumer £42,500.

Other celebrities appearing on the list include well-known business leaders and popular TV personalities, including, Piers Morgan, Jeff Bezos, Martin Lewis and Bradley Walsh.

Money Savings Expert Martin Lewis dropped to fifth in the table this year but continues to be used in high value cases despite him being very vocal that he would never endorse an investment in this way.

Investment scams cost consumers £114.1m in 2022 according to UK Finance, down 17% on the previous year.

Stuart Skinner, NatWest Scam Expert says: “Criminals are using some of the UK’s most trusted and respected celebrities to steal millions of pounds. I’d urge you to be extremely cautious of celebrity investment adverts seen online. A cross industry effort is required to eradicate these ads from social media.”

Comments: (1)

Steve Ellis
Steve Ellis - Finextra Research - London 01 June, 2023, 13:18Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Its not rocket science but I like this story from NatWest (everyone likes a league table). All banks need to up their game in turning scams, phishing and other security risks into accessible, popular topics of conversation among mainstream audiences. Communicating risks or dangers is counter-intuitive for banks but is the best way to educate consumers to better protect themselves.