National Australia Bank’s security team has sought out and attempted to take down investment scam websites that feature former NSW Premier and now NAB chief customer officer, Consumer Banking, Mike Baird.
News of the crackdown came from Baird himself on his LinkedIn page where, in what he called a “very personal note”, the former politician explained that “over the last few weeks, I have had many of you send me ‘fake news’ sites and advertisements featuring myself and I want to thank you for bringing these type of scams to my attention”.
“I am appalled by these actions and the security team at NAB have spent significant time chasing down these sites to make sure they are taken down.”
Baird pointed out that “I clearly want to reiterate I am not associated with any of these companies or products and remain deeply alarmed that there may be people out there clicking on these links thinking otherwise”.
Baird’s post came just hours after mining magnate Andrew Forrest revealed a letter he sent to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on the same issue.
Forrest complained of ads suggesting he invests in bitcoin and denied he has ever done so in an April 2019 statement on Fortescue Metals Group’s website. He has repeatedly criticised the scams since.
Now he has challenged Zuckerberg to quash false ads.
In a letter that appeared behind the paywall of The Australian, Forrest excoriated Zuckerberg, saying “you have the power and the technology to prevent these scam advertisements from running on your platform," he said.
"Is revenue more important to you than the life savings of elderly people, Mr Zuckerberg?"
That the scams have cost retail investors plenty is not in dispute: a September 2019 ABC report detailed how a West Australian woman lost more than $600,000 to a scam that used Forrest’s image and faked ABC stories.
NAB’s Baird declared himself “so supportive” of Forrest’s letter and seemingly committed more NAB resources to the hunt for scam investment sites.
“Thank you again to the many who have alerted me and I will continue all efforts to ensure these scams are stopped in their tracks,” Baird wrote.