Images of Richlister Graeme Hart are being used without his permission to advertise a scam bitcoin website.

The ads being served across social media channels trumpeted Hart's investment in a bitcoin business. They are fake.

Clicking through on the ad navigates users to a website that features a range of articles featuring faux quotes from Hart on his investment in bitcoin.

The scammers behind the site have also taken the additional step of putting NZ Herald branding on the articles, making it seem as though Hart's featured in the national paper.

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None of these 'articles' are true and neither are they associated in any way with the NZ Herald or Hart. The team at the Herald is taking steps to shut down the ads.

The website claims to have a record of Graeme Hart's transactions. Photo/File.
The website claims to have a record of Graeme Hart's transactions. Photo/File.

This isn't the first time a high-profile individual has been targeted in ads of this nature.

Last year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's face was also used in Bitcoin spam, encouraging Kiwis to invest in a start-up.

Read more:
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's face used in Bitcoin spam

Lending extra credibility to that scam was a CNN logo and the byline and twitter handle of Seth Fiegerman, a respected US-based tech reporter.

In both instances, the entire elaborate effort - from the initial Facebook post, to the fake news site, to Fiegerman's byline – is little more than a ruse to acquire the credit card details of Kiwis hoping to make some money.

Previously, Netsafe chief executive Martin Cocker told the Herald that it's important to remember that the ad targeting tools of Facebook and other social media platforms are open to both legitimate businesses and to spammers. Cocker also warned that scammers are becoming more sophisticated in their development of online scams, making it difficult to immediately identify illegal activities.

The aim of the website is to acquire the credit card details of online users. Photo/File.
The aim of the website is to acquire the credit card details of online users. Photo/File.

Pretty much anyone with a credit card could set up a faux business and start targeting users with creepily specific details.

Users are encouraged not to enter their credit card details on any sites that seem suspicious.

The website claims to have a record of Graeme Hart's transactions. Photo/File.
The website claims to have a record of Graeme Hart's transactions. Photo/File.