Scammers Impersonate Malta's Prime Minister on Instagram to Sell Bitcoin

Omar Faridi
  • Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is being impersonated through a fake profile on Instagram. 
  • A post from the fake profile by an Instagram user named Wang Wei had requested, in the prime minister's name, to contact the Chinese conman for advice on Bitcoin investments.

Joseph Muscat, the Prime Minister of Malta, has reportedly been impersonated, online by an Instagram user with the account name wangwei8976. Wang Wei is believed to have created a fake Instagram profile of the Maltese prime minister, in order to lure people into making questionable bitcoin (BTC) investments.

Through a post from the fake profile, Wei recommended, under prime minister Muscat’s name, that investors contact him for advice on bitcoin investments.

Although the misleading post has now been taken down, local news outlet, the Independent, described the impersonation attempt as being carried out “by an industrious and seemingly Chinese conman, who has gone to great lengths to create a fake Instagram profile replete with official-looking photographs.”

Misleading Post On Bitcoin Investments 

According to the news agency, the fake profile even included a link to partitlaburisti.org, the Maltese prime minister and his political party’s official website. While the misleading crypto investment post has now been removed by Instagram’s management team, Wang Wei’s Instagram account is still reportedly active.

The prime minister’s fake profile (josephmuscat290) has also not been removed. His real profile is under the account name josephmuscat_jm. Moreover, Muscat’s fake profile currently has over 1,300 followers and many of them appear to be Maltese residents, including experienced politicians.

Currently, it is still not clear who’s actually operating the prime minister’s fake account. This is the link to Wang Wei’s Instagram profile: https://www.instagram.com/wangwei8976/, and this is the link to the fake profile of prime minister Joseph Muscat (who’s also the Leader of Malta’s ruling Labor Party): https://www.instagram.com/josephmuscat290/.

Crypto Influencers Impersonated

Notably, this is not the first time that a famous, or influential, personality has been impersonated on social media, in order to mislead cryptocurrency enthusiasts and investors. As CryptoGlobe reported in July, cryptocurrency platform TRON’s founder Justin Sun had been impersonated on Twitter.

Crypto scammers had reportedly hijacked the official Twitter account @AlmostHumanFOX, which belongs to FOX’s Almost Human TV show. After gaining control of the account, the scammers had been attempting to lure unsuspecting users by offering “fake” giveaways or free digital currency.

The fraudsters had also been providing cryptocurrency addresses to which they were requesting that payments be sent to enroll in the fake giveaways. Given the serious nature of the increasing number of fake profiles on social media websites, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, the companies managing them have been criticized for not protecting their users. In many cases, social media sites have been known to take little or no action against online scammers.