Sunrise host David Koch has lashed out at online fraudsters who used his image and fake quotes from him to steal $30,000 from a viewer, demanding they be stopped.
Koch said he was contacted by the victim who was fooled by an online ad using a fake endorsement for a dodgy crypto investment platform.
‘I had a bloke on the weekend contact me through Facebook, abusing me because he had lost $30,000 on a scam that used my picture and dodgy comments from me,’ he said.
Sunrise host David Koch (pictured left) has revealed a viewer was taken in by scammers using his image and fake quotes
Koch said online scammers frequently used him as a lure due to his public profile and asked his guest, Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones, what the government was going to do about it.
‘Scammers have been using my photo and dodgy quotes from me to scam people for years,’ he said on Monday morning.
‘They appear on Facebook, they appear on LinkedIn, they appear on that Taboola feed on big mainstream websites and I can’t do anything about it.’
Koch demanded Mr Jones explain what could be done about this.
‘Here at Channel Seven, we get sued by you and the ACCC if we run a dodgy ad,’ he said.
‘Why can’t Facebook and Instagram and LinkedIn take the same responsibilities as mainstream media groups?
‘It’s just heartbreaking for our viewers that get sucked in by these sorts of things.’
Koch says that scammers have been using his image and making up quotes from him for years
Mr Jones admitted the government was powerless to act because of the laws were lagging behind technology.
‘We are adamant that the law needs to change,’ Mr Jones said.
‘We need to drag it into the 21st Century. Social media platforms need to be accountable for the material they are publishing.
‘If they are told you have got dodgy stuff online and or unlawful stuff online, which is enabling criminals and they are not taking it down, then there will be fines and penalties that apply.
‘We also want to work with the banks and ensure that the wallet at the end of scam is locked off as well.’
Mr Jones said there would be a specialised scam detection unit created within corporate watchdog the ACCC.
‘Once we detect something in motion, locking it down as soon as possible and getting onto the social media platforms as you suggested, and ensure that they have a legal obligation to shut these things down at the source,’ Mr Jones said.
‘That is music to my ears because not only are people losing thousands of dollars, it damages my reputation,’ Koch replied.
‘I’ve seen a photo online saying things I never said about Bitcoin or whatever, and people lose money because they think it’s me.’
Koch revealed that a viewer contacted him through Facebook to say they had lost $30,000 to a scam bearing his image and fake quotes
Scammers have been posing as relatives and sending texts where they pretend to have lost their previous phone
Mr Jones continued: ‘Sports stars, TV stars, personalities are all having their identity used by these criminals, let’s call them what they are because they are economic criminals ripping off Australians.
‘We want to crack down on it at the source.’
Mr Jones said it wasn’t just the popular online platforms that needed to up their game to combat the ‘criminals and scumbags’ but telecommunications companies as well because a ‘lot of it is happening through email and SMS’.
The scam is still going on with a link to a website called ‘Flippercash’ that was emailed to unsuspecting Australians on Sunday.
The link led to a page mocked up to look like a ABC News article reporting on a fake The Morning Show segment spruiking the crypto scam.
The headline was: ‘David James Koch’s Latest Investment Has Experts in Awe And Big Banks Terrified’.
‘Australian television presenter David James Koch has made a name for himself as a brash straight-talker who doesn’t mind being honest about how he makes his money,’ it began.
The latest scam attempt using Koch took a random appearance of the Sunrise host on The Morning Show and photoshopped the title to look like he was talking about the fake product
A mocked-up graphic of Koch’s supposed earnings from the fake QuantumAI crypto trading app, which the scam claims uses AI to trade for you
The scam claimed Koch explained a ‘wealth loophole’ that would ‘transform anyone into a millionaire within 3-4 months’ and viewers needed to get in on it ‘before the big banks shut it down for good’.
‘And sure enough, minutes after the interview was over, National Australia Bank called to stop Koch’s interview from being aired- it was already too late,’ it claimed.
The scam crypto investment platform is called QuantumAI and the fake article claimed Koch pulled out his phone to show Morning Show hosts Larry Emdur and Kylie Gillies how much money it was making him.
The too-good-to-be-true scam claims QuantumAI ‘uses artificial intelligence to automatically handle long and short selling for you so you can make money around the clock, even while you sleep’.
Australians are predicted to lose $4 billion to scammers this year, double last year’s total.
One of the biggest scams is phishing, where a scammer tries to con someone into revealing their identity and other personal information including banking details.
Ten tips to stay safe online
Shara Evans is a technology futurist and expert in online safety. Here are her tips to stay safe from hackers
1. Get basic IT security on devices including anti-virus programs, malware checkers, ransomware checkers, VPN, firewalls.
2. Use different passwords for every website and app. Make them long and complex – upper plus lower case letters, numbers, special characters. Save your passwords in an encrypted password vault.
3. Use two-factor authentication whenever possible (ie: logging into a secure bank portal requires you to provide an authentication code that’s sent to you via text or email or requires a SecureID token number)
4. Use multiple email addresses. If you own a domain, it’s easy to set up an email alias (‘forwarder’) that names a specific site or type of activity. If compromised you can then disable an email alias address without impacting everything that you do. And, it will help you to identify the source of the leak.
5. Check your credit reports for signs of fraudulent activity – or wrong info.
6. Sign up for a credit/ID protection plan and put in place credit report bans if you have reason to suspect that your ID is compromised.
7. NEVER click on text or email hyperlinks that you don’t absolutely know are legit. Lots of people get in trouble this way. You can check a compressed link by copying it and entering it into the search bar to see what shows up. If it’s malware, you may see a notice. At the very least, check if the source domain seems suspicious, in which case don’t click it!
8. When uploading any sensitive info to a website portal check for the lock icon (https) – this means that your data is encrypted ‘in transit’ when its uploaded to the website. Company cyber security practices vary widely.
9. If someone phones you saying they’re from Company X – NEVER give out any info to them, unless you know them and are already expecting a call from a specific phone number or person.
10. NEVER publish your birthdate online! If you have it on social media DELETE it now. Unless you are doing an official financial transaction, there are very few good reasons for any party to know your real birthdate, much less store it.
According to comparison website Finder, Australians are also increasingly falling victim to fake text and phone calls.
Finder money expert Sarah Megginson said Australians had been flooded with fraudulent texts and phone calls in recent years and should ignore contact from unknown numbers.
‘Let the caller go to voicemail. If they leave a number, you can check if it matches a real business online,’ she said ion Monday.
‘Don’t ever reply to or click on links in text messages. These could link to viruses and other nasties, or fake sites looking to steal your personal data.’
One giveaway is if the text message has bad spelling or grammar.
‘Be especially cautious if you get a message in WhatsApp or on Facebook claiming to be from a relative who has lost their phone and now needs help,’ Ms Megginson said.
‘This is the so-called “mum scam”, and is responsible for $2.6 million in losses in the first seven months of the year.’