Gavin Duffy has been forced to confirm he’s “alive and well”, following a cruel online scam.
The Dragons’ Den star was “horrified” to find himself at the centre of a click-bait scam, recently, which is falsely announcing his death across social media.
The sponsored posts, which are appearing on the likes of Facebook, direct readers to a bitcoin business – alleging that Gavin made his money from it.
This has led to a number of people reportedly losing hundreds of euro.
Speaking to Joe Duffy on RTÉ Radio 1’s Liveline, Gavin said: “I’m alive and well.”
“When this started, we had a bit of a laugh about it because I knew I obviously wasn’t dead but I was horrified to discover this had a more sinister element.”
“Hundreds of people have been in contact looking for my funeral details and in a Covid world when people are missing funerals and deaths, they are more likely to believe these ads,” he continued.
“The ad shows a picture of me with a banner saying ‘Farewell to Gavin’ but when you click on the image, it brings you to a bitcoin business saying that I’ve made millions from.”
“I’d like to stress that I have never, ever invested a cent in bitcoin and know very little about it.”
The Irish entrepreneur has enlisted the help of a cybersecurity firm in London, to try and identify the scammers.
“We believe that these people are spending up to $40,000 a month on ads using my image on Facebook,” he said.
“From what we can establish, the website originates in Singapore and is then hidden in various clouds and then the email leads to a phone number in Panama so it’s a very intricate set-up.”
“I’ve had calls from people from Tipperary and the West of Ireland who have lost a few hundred euro in it,” he admitted. “Again, I just want to stress, I’ve never invested in bitcoin and I am alive and well and please, please don’t fall for this scam.”
On this week’s episode of #GossChats, Goss.ie Founder Alexandra Ryan chats to Jackie Fox – who lost her daughter Nicole to suicide after being cyber bullied.
Jackie talks about her fight to get Coco’s Law brought into legislation in Ireland – a new law that will make online bullying a criminal offence.
WARNING – episode contains discussion about self-harming and suicide. If this interview affects you in any way please contact Pieta House.
Please free call the Pieta House 24-hour helpline on 1800 247 247. You can also contact the helpline by text – text HELP to 51444.
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