Another Day, Another Fake Press Release
Someone ought to get a lump of coal in their stocking this holiday season. The question is who? Once again, another unknown scammer put out a press release–this time touting that the popular grocery chain Kroger had partnered with Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to announce it would begin accepting the digital currency.
The November 5 “press release” was published on Kroger’s investor relations page of all places which it picked up by direct feed from the news release distributor PR Newswire. Upon notification from company spokesmen that the announcement was false, both sites took it down. Other sites that unwittingly spread the misinformation pulled their announcements as well.
Why Everyone Was Fooled
It’s easy to understand why so many people fell for the bitcoin scam. From computer technology giant Microsoft to multinational fast food restaurant franchiser Subway, it seems every other day some well-known company is embracing cryptocurrencies as a payment option.
In addition, the country’s largest supermarket by revenue has been vocal about its own modernization plans. That same week Kroger announced plans to open fulfillment centers across the country using robots to pick orders for its growing online grocery business. The company has also recently partnered with Bed Bath and Beyond to offer that retailer’s home and baby products on the company website.
With that kind of forward-leaning activity, the collaboration with bitcoin cash would have appeared simply like icing on the cake.
Spurred by the excitement of the announcement, in under an hour the price of BCH spiked by $22, an increase of 3.6 percent. Upon news that the public had been hoodwinked, however, it quickly fell and dipped into the red.
This isn’t the first time a hoax has been perpetrated on crypto investors. In September, Walmart was also the subject of a bullish crypto news scam when GlobalNewswire erroneously issued a statement saying the multinational retail giant had formed a collaboration with litecoin to accept the digital currency as a form of payment at its stores.
The fraudster responsible for that claim deserves a lump of coal, too.