A great financial coup, which is moreover recommended by Jean Reno. Who doesn’t dream of it in these times of inflation and where the Livret A rate is capped at 1%? This is what some dubious sites promise, which use the image of the actor without his knowledge. “Jean Reno offers a new investment that makes hundreds of people very rich,” reads an ad for a certain “Bitcoin Bank”. It is accompanied by a smiling photo of the actor. He would have praised this method “which can turn anyone into a millionaire in three to four months”.
The rest of the text, written in approximate French, is frightening: Jean Reno would have praised the bank on television, but a mysterious “France Bank” would have tried to prevent the broadcasting of his remarks.
The French actor would not be the only one to have smelled the good vein: the businessmen Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Bill Gates would also support the “Bitcoin Bank”.
Advertising, which does not say a word about what is behind this mysterious bank, urges you to take the plunge by promising to offer 250 euros to the first 1,000 registered. To win the reader’s trust definitively, she promises that it is not a “scam”.
Jean Reno of course did not bring his image to this dubious advertisement: the actor published a press release last Friday, through his agent, to denounce the use of his identity and his image “without any authorization from his go “. He does not name a particular ad or actor, but points to this type of message. He adds that he “never endorsed the activities of the companies behind these announcements”. He is not the only personality to have seen his image usurped to promote financial products: Kylian Mbappé had already filed a complaint in 2020, according to The Team.
Who is behind this “Bitcoin Bank”? It takes several steps to find out: the ad refers to a site where you are told that “bitcoin makes people rich”. Four “users” testify to their winnings, except that their photos come from image databases, casting doubt on the authenticity of these testimonials. The site asks you to provide personal details – surname, first name, email and telephone number – but at no time is there, again, any legal notice or any means of contacting the authors of this site.
Once these coordinates have been provided, the Internet user arrives at a completely different site: during our first visit, we were sent to a platform called “Lions Broker”. Exit the “Bitcoin Bank”. There, the user actually has the opportunity to perform online trading. On Lions Broker, there is no legal notice. The user is sent to a site with the same name, where he is promised “easy contact” with the company, in particular by telephone. Only an e-mail address appears on this site. Lions Broker is a registered broker in the Cayman Islands, Caribbean. It is attached to Lion Group Holding Ltd, which provides an address in Singapore and Hong Kong. Contacted, these various entities did not respond to our requests.
The Financial Markets Authority (AMF) warns potential investors against online trading: this method “is not intended for amateurs”. “You have to understand and master the financial instruments in which you are going to invest,” she adds. A simple online training is not enough: “the” training “offered free online will never make you an experienced trader”, warns this Authority, which warns against “unrealistic promises” of “quick wins”. As for the “small gains generated at the start”, they “are only there to encourage you to invest more and more. “Thereafter, you will lose there”, launches, lapidary, the AMF.
It also advises to check whether the intermediary is authorized to operate in France. In the event of a dispute, recourse with a company based abroad will necessarily be more complicated.