Online scam using fake ads with Dutch celebs netted millions; Amsterdam man held
A 29-year-old Amsterdam man was arrested last week for allegedly posting fake advertisements online which featured famous Dutch people. Geert Wilders, Ali B., and Jort Kelder were used in some of the fraudulent adverts to convince unsuspecting people to invest money. The funds soon disappeared, and the victims lost their money.
Tens of thousands of people from the Netherlands, and other countries, allegedly fell for the scam, netting the gang tens of millions. Authorities suspect the Amsterdammer masterminded a criminal organization.
The financial crimes inspectorate, FIOD, believes more suspects were involved, a spokesperson said. Authorities raided buildings in Amsterdam, Velserbroek, and Sweden last week. They seized millions of euros worth of buildings, cars, watches, cryptocurrency, and bank accounts.
The ads appeared on social media. For example, one stated that the "most recent investment" by a well-known Dutchman "astonishes experts and terrifies large banks." Those who clicked on the ad read a claim that the celebrity explained on television how they found a loophole, and the major banks wanted to thwart their plan. Anyone who wanted to could fill in their personal details. Then someone would call them up to help them create an account.
The data of over a million people were said to have been on the criminal organization's server.
Reporting by ANP