Scammers are using Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to try trick Kiwis into dodgy cryptocurrency investments.

The Bitcoin scam is being advertised on various reputable websites and social media, including Facebook, and all link to a fake "special report" which uses One News' logo.

The bogus news story is riddled with grammatical errors and is blatantly inaccurate.

It claims she appeared on the television show The Project and told host Jesse Mulligan about a new "wealth loophole" which could make anyone a millionaire within four months.


"New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has made a name for herself as a brash straight-talker who doesn't mind being honest about how she makes his [sic] money."

The fake story quotes Ardern as saying: "It's the single biggest opportunity I've seen in my entire lifetime to build a small fortune fast. I urge everyone to check this out before the banks shut it down."

Mulligan was then supposedly "left in disbelief" as Ardern pulled out her phone to show the audience how much money she'd made.

The website links to a dodgy Bitcoin investment platform and claims it's also "as seen on" the Herald, 60 Minutes and Australia's 10 network.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is being used by scammers to peddle cryptocurrency scams. Photo / Screenshot
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is being used by scammers to peddle cryptocurrency scams. Photo / Screenshot

Ardern's office was unable to comment by deadline.

Subscribe to Premium

Ardern is the latest in a number of well-known Kiwis who've been used by fraudsters to try peddle their scams.

Former prime minister Sir John Key has previously expressed his frustration at Facebook for refusing to pull posts that link to an entirely fake NZ Herald website in which Key is purported to endorse Bitcoin.

And earlier this year celebrity chef Annabel Langbein considered taking legal action against Facebook after getting stuck in a whack-a-mole situation where as soon as she reported a scam ad, another popped up.


The scammers even went so far as to poorly cut-and-paste onto actress Michelle Williams' body when she won an Emmy.

New Zealand Scam Alert said the scam was using Ardern's name and image to "influence people into investing money into all sorts of scam investments".

It's likely the scam ads appear on legitimate websites because they've been placed through the centralised and automated Google Ad Exchange - which runs billions of ad auctions a day - to sell ad space.

Netsafe chief executive Martin Cocker said they see fake celebrity endorsement scams daily and political leaders are often used for investment or cryptocurrency scams because they're seen as successful or wealthy.

He urged anyone who sees a scam ad to report it to the website they spot it on so the platform can take action.

And anyone who'd fallen victim should tell their bank or card provider immediately.


Cocker said if someone didn't know where to report a scam ad, they should contact Netsafe.

How to avoid being scammed

• You should never follow a link in an ad.

• If you're interested in something you've seen advertised to you, research it independently away from the platform. That way you'll quickly learn whether it's legitimate.

• If it does appear to be a scam, you should report it to Netsafe and the platform you've seen it on. Both Facebook and Google have options to "report this ad". This will help protect other people too.