‘This is a scam’: Gina Rinehart takes on crypto crooks using her name

Article by Kishor Napier-Raman and Noel Towell, Artwork by John Shakespeare, courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald.

Gina Rinehart isn’t the type to be duped by scammers. Yet con artists seem irresistibly attracted to Australia’s richest person.

The mining magnate had to go public, again, after fraudsters tried, again, to use her name to swindle wannabe crypto investors out of their hard-earned cash.

Responding on Wednesday to fake news articles on social media claiming Rinehart invested in a start-up cryptocurrency platform that could make you “rich” in seven days, the billionaire’s people warned punters to steer clear.

“Mrs Rinehart has not made the alleged investment or recommendations or quotes set forth in these adverts,” the billionaire miner’s people said in a statement.

“This is a scam designed to use Mrs Rinehart’s positive corporate image to lure people in to invest.”

Rinehart isn’t the only celebrity unwittingly co-opted to the fake crypto cause.

Rinehart’s fellow West Australian mining billionaire Andrew Forrest is pursuing a case against Facebook parent company Meta, claiming the tech giant failed to stop clickbait advertising scams promoting bogus investment schemes from using his image.

Scammers also keep using Sunrise host David Koch for some reason.

Meanwhile, back in 2015, a time of the relatively low-tech “419” email scams, Rinehart’s name was used in a con “seeking assistance with the depositing of funds from an alleged charity for humanitarian purposes”

Before that, con artists were spinning fabulist tales of a Rinehart-backed charitable foundation worth $200 million. Ambitious. Just a shame the scammers in question couldn’t spell.

Still, some of Gina’s real investments over the years have been a little offbeat. Most notably the $23 million she pumped into News.net, a failed media start-up pitched by former twice-bankrupt Queensland businessman and media entrepreneur Michael Norris.

Norris then went on to use Rinehart’s name to convince other investors to put money into the business which collapsed last year owing money to employees, creditors and investors.

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