Some of you might have seen a “CNN” article circulating on social media claiming that His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei is investing a significant amount in a “tech startup” called “The Bitcoin Code”. You might be wondering if the this was real or fake news.
Extracted from the article reads:
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, has just announced that he is about to invest on a new business venture which he believes will change world and brunei economics. His new venture is an Bitcoin Trading System and, although he didn’t come up with the idea, he invested $720 Million in it which allowed him to control all of the The Bitcoin Code decisions.
This article is very likely to be FAKE NEWS.
The reason for my suspicions are as follows:
1. Google search turns up no results
If a news this big was out, why wouldn’t other news outlets pick up on it? We’re talking about one of the riches heads of states in the world here!
2. Sell tactic and misleading article
The article starts with 2-3 short paragraphs about the Sultan and trails off to sell to the reader some impressive system that can make you lots of money. Red flags going up yet?
3. Fake CNN website
The article is posted on “cnnmoney-news[dot]com”. However, the real CNN website is money.cnn.com.
Also I found the registration of the website to be suspicious too. A quick search on whois.com will tell you this.
The fake site is registered anonymously in “Panama”:
The real site is registered by Turner Broadcasting System:
4. Article date
The article is dated 16th August 2017. It even has a weird “8 August 2017” stuck to it.
However, this website’s domain was only registered on the 13th August 2017 as can be seen from the domain information above.
5. Dodgy links
All the links on the website lead to some dodgy site called “luckytracker”. I do not know what it does but so far I don’t see anything good that might come out of clicking anything there.
Again, DO NOT CLICK THE LINKS THERE.
6. Fake sidebar
The sidebar “articles” are actually images. The “writers” probably did not have the time to populate the fake site therefore to make it more believable, they took a shortcut.
7. The Bitcoin Code is a scam
A quick google search of this “startup” will reveal that The Bitcoin Code is a scam. Now if the people working with the money of the most powerful man in Brunei missed even this simple step, I would assume heads will roll.
8. Fake comment section
If you scrolled down past all the gibberish, you will see a lot of “people” commenting. 116,344 to be exact. Let’s be honest here. Even the most popular articles might rake up to a thousand or so comments. Why would there be so many on a regulated news site? These are presumably bots because the things they say have no relation to the article whatsoever.
So there you have it. I hope this article will find its way to the masses so that people will not jump headfirst into a trap. It is common knowledge that His Majesty is well respected and people try to emulate his actions. However, this is very dangerous when scammers try tricks like this.
We have to be smart about it so as to not fall for financial scams of similar sort. So what can we do about this?
Spread the word and stop spreading the fake article. This way we can do our part to protect one another from these modern trickery.