Former Spice Girl Mel B — ‘Scary Spice’ to her friends — was this week at the center of a crypto scam that targeted her “A-list contacts” and tried to get them to deposit charity donations through Binance in exchange for cheap bitcoin rates.
The scammer used Scary’s likeness to promote a charity project that would “help African children dying of thirst.”
As reported by The Mirror, the scammer used emojis and the WhatsApp handle “Scary Spice MelB,” to try to convince the popstar’s close contacts to fork over money to the charity, and that as a thank you, they’d be gifted special low rate bitcoin prices.
However, the contacts were immediately suspicious and instead of donating, messaged the singer to ask about the project, prompting her to call the police.
Sources told The Mirror that “Mel isn’t involved in any of that. It’s not her scene. But she does a lot of charity work, which was what made the con believable.”
SEC against celeb scams
Using celebrity likenesses is a common tactic for scammers. Indeed, you only have to check the Twitter replies sent to Elon Musk or Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao to see these schemes in action. However, the waters are muddied further by the fact that it’s sometimes the real celebs promoting dodgy projects.
One recent example saw reality TV star Kim Kardashian ordered to pay $1.26 million by the SEC for failing to disclose her paid involvement with EthereumMax after she hyped the token to her millions of Instagram followers.
The SEC’s decision to charge Kardashian may also have wider implications for celebs endorsing crappy crypto tokens.