David “Kochie” Koch said it is “heartbreaking” that people are being scammed out of thousands of dollars by a cryptocurrency scam that claimed he was dead.
The 67-year-old Sunrise presenter announced he is ‘alive and well’ after being bombarded with ‘tributes’ last weekend when a Twitter post announcing his death went viral.
“I am alive and well and currently on a break in beautiful Palm Cove (the tweet) is certainly far from the truth,” the financial journalist told Bed Fordham on 2GB on Tuesday.
Originating from a hacked account, the tweet contained a link redirecting users to a cryptocurrency scam featuring fraudulent celebrity endorsements purportedly from the likes of Koch, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, and others.
“While saying goodbye is never easy, we take comfort in knowing that Kochie lived a full and meaningful life and left a legacy of kindness, warmth and compassion,” the scam tweet read.
The Channel Seven presenter was bombarded with ‘tributes’ this weekend when a Twitter post announcing his death went viral
The message was accompanied by a black and white photo of Koch looking distraught with his hands in front of his face.
The TV presenter said the vicious death hoax is “damn annoying” and that he has been dealing with scammers for years using his photo with false quotes.
“I have been to the authorities, I have spoken to the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission), and they have told me that the only reason these scams continue is because people fall for them and lose money. wouldn’t use me,” he continued on 2GB.
“My problem is I get emails from people who think they are real and blame me, so what am I supposed to do to protect myself from this let alone the Australians lose their hard earned money?”
The TV host said that a year ago, a retiree contacted him after falling victim to one of these scams using his name and photo, and he lost $10,000.
The TV host said a year ago a retiree contacted him after falling victim to one of these scams using his name and photo, and he lost $10,000
“These are real people, real money, and it’s heartbreaking,” he said.
After being distraught by the vicious and viral death hoax, Koch is calling on social media platforms to put an end to these scam ads.
He said: ‘[In]traditional media it is our responsibility to take due diligence not to run these scams, so what is the responsibility of these social media platforms that say they are the new media and bigger than the traditional media ? They should have the same responsibility.
“I would report to Facebook about every week about different scams and they’d say ‘yeah, we blocked that server’ but then they’d be popping up all over the place.”
Last Friday, Koch retweeted the viral tweet claiming he was dead, assuring his followers that was not the case.
Sunrise host David ‘Kochie’ Koch is the target of a vicious death hoax where criminals use his image and fake news about his passing to scam people out of thousands of dollars
“To be clear, I live and enjoy AFL’s Gather Round in Adelaide with my whole family. This stuff really gives me the s**ts,” he wrote.
That is what the owner of the Twitter account, Kimberly Ramirez, told Oh dear she “had no idea” that her hacked account was spreading a crypto scam under the guise of paying tribute to Koch.
“I had no idea this was happening. I deleted the app from my phone for a while and forgot about it,” said the New York-based ad executive.
She went on to say that she received an email from Twitter alerting her to a login attempt on her account. The email stated that the hacker could have accessed her account from Lake Forest, Illinois.
After successfully hacking into her account, they changed the password and started spamming her profile with links to the cryptocurrency scam.
“This son of a bitch left me over $1,000 in advertising debt,” Ms. Ramirez said.
Originating from a hacked account, the tweet contained a link redirecting users to a crypto scam featuring fraudulent celebrity endorsements purportedly from the likes of Koch
Koch’s death hoax was viewed 140,000 times and more than 6,000 Twitter users clicked on the ad, which led them to a website pushing Immediate Edge.
The get-rich-quick scam boasts fake endorsements from celebrities like Jeremy Clarkson, Piers Morgan, and Justin Trudeau.
People who have fallen victim to the scam claim they signed up with the service expecting “big returns” from cryptocurrency investments, but lost access to their accounts after depositing hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Koch retweeted the post, assuring his followers that despite taking a week off from work, he was “alive and well”
“To be clear, I live and enjoy AFL’s Gather Round in Adelaide with my whole family. This stuff really gives me the s**ts,” said Koch (pictured at an AFL game in June 2018)