They might be rich, confident and handsome (we’re looking at you Doug the Pug 🐶❤️), but when it comes to our favourite influencers using their online clout to tout financial products, it’s time to watch out!
The former boom in crypto and NFTs unleashed a wave of famous faces - from Kim Kardashian to YouTuber/boxer/Dink Doink, Logan Paul - promoting often money losing schemes at the expense of everyday investors, and US regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is fed up! 👎
The SEC has been sending a firm message to celebs and influencers who are charging big bucks to shill practically worthless crypto products. How firm? Kim Kardashian settled with the SEC for more than US$1 million for failing to mention how much she had been paid to promote the crypto token EthereumMax (now worth US$$0.00000000067). 💰 And it might be too late to say sorry for Bored Apes Justin Bieber, Madonna and Paris Hilton. The A-listers are being sued by investors for similarly failing to disclose they were being paid to promote sales. 🦍
The SEC is also cracking down on share market charlatans. Last week they charged eight people involved in an alleged online pump-and-dump scheme. The group allegedly whipped up hype for certain shares amongst their followers across social media by using false and misleading information. Then, as the price of shares jumped, the group is said to have dumped their shares onto eager buyers before the price fell. The scheme reportedly made more than US$100 million in illegal gains. 🤑
But here's the thing: just because someone has a lot of followers and seems successful, doesn't necessarily mean they're qualified to give advice. It's always important for every potential investor to do your own thorough research before making decisions based on advice from anyone, even well-known public figures. And if Doug the Pug starts an NFT project, it’s probably best to just keep scrolling. 🍷