A great financial coup, which is moreover recommended by Jean Reno. Who wouldn’t dream of it in these times of inflation and where the Livret A rate is 1%? This is what some suspicious websites that use the actor’s image without his knowledge promise. “Jean Reno introduces a new investment that will make hundreds of people very rich,” reads an advertisement for a particular “Bitcoin Bank.” Accompanied by a smiling portrait of the actor. He would have praised this method, “which can turn anyone into a millionaire in three to four months.”
The rest of the text, written in rough French, is frightening: Jean Reno would have praised Bank on television, but the mysterious “France Bank” would have tried to prevent his statements from being broadcast.
The French actor will not be the only one who has smelled the good spirit: businessmen Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Bill Gates will also support the “Bitcoin Bank”.
The advertisement, which does not say a word about what is behind this mysterious bank, urges you to take the initiative by promising to give 250 euros to the first 1000 registered. To earn the reader’s trust once and for all, it promises that it is not a “scam”.
Of course Gene Reno didn’t bring his photo to this suspicious ad: The actor posted a press release last Friday, via his agent, denouncing the use of his identity and photo “without any permission from his going.” It does not name a specific advertisement or actor, but rather refers to this type of message. He adds that he “never approved the activity of the companies behind these advertisements.” He’s not the only person who has seen his image raped to promote financial products: Kylian Mbappe had already filed a complaint in 2020, according to the team.
Who is behind the “Bitcoin Bank”? It takes several steps to find out: The ad points to a site where you are told that “Bitcoin makes people rich”. Four “users” vouch for their earnings, except that their photos are taken from image databases, which casts doubt on the authenticity of these testimonials. The site asks you to provide personal details – surname, first name, email, phone number – but at no time is there any legal notice or any way to contact the authors of this site.
Once these coordinates are provided, the Internet user arrives at a completely different location: during our first visit, we were sent to a platform called “Lions Broker”. Get out of the Bitcoin Bank. There, the user already has the opportunity to perform online trading. At Lions Broker, there is no legal notice. The user is sent to a site of the same name, where he is promised “easy communication” with the company, in particular by phone. Only one email address appears on this site. Lions Broker is a broker registered in the Cayman Islands, Caribbean. It is affiliated with Lion Group Holding Ltd, which provides an address in Singapore and Hong Kong. When contacted, these different entities did not respond to our requests.
The Financial Markets Authority (AMF) warns potential investors against online trading: this method is “not for amateurs”. “You have to understand and master the financial instruments you are going to invest in,” she adds. Simple online training is not enough: “training” offered free online will never make you an experienced trader, warns this body, which warns against “unrealistic promises” of “quick wins”. As for the “small gains generated in the beginning,” they are “just there to encourage you to invest more and more.” After that, you will lose there,” Lance, Jeweler, AMF.
It is also advised to check if the broker is licensed to operate in France. In the event of a dispute, resorting to a company based abroad will necessarily be more complicated.