Hooded, hood pulled to the eyebrows and paddings of boldly displayed banknotes, TAC Crypto* posts on TikTok videos where he says “Proud of earning ten times my salary [ses] Teachers are only 16 years old.. With 26,000 subscribers, he assures us: “Getting money has never been easier.” Telemaque* plays on the same series. An open shirt and prominent abs, the influencer who takes pride in being on top “The richest society in France” Progress to explain nearly 123,000 subscribers “How to make money” In the context of a sharp rise in inflation and a decline in virtual currency prices. “There is only one area that allows you to do that [multiplier ton investissement par] 2, 3, 4, 5, even 10, this is a cryptocurrency! “ Youri* releases for those under 18 listening. “Be careful, since you are a minor, you will have to use an adult’s account with his authorization!” But he warns.
On TikTok, dozens of influencers are highlighting the shameless financial success of cryptocurrency and trade in the financial markets. Such success, they promise, is within the reach of almost anyone: just follow a series of tips, or even just entrust your portfolio to market operators who will be interested in increasing your capital. Too good to be true?
The three videographers mentioned above are careful not to provide their financial advice directly on TikTok. TAC Crypto sends young people attracted by its promises of easy money to its Discord message server. It offers cryptocurrency training consisting of a “A 14-page PDF that we send to you for a small amount of €40”. The price is the same for the curious who want to know his investment advice for NFTs, these digital title certificates are mainly used for speculative purposes.
Telemaque and Youri playing on another board. From TikTok, they link to websites where they offer subscriptions to private clubs. For 597 euros, he sells the second A Lifetime Support Guaranteed. At this price, Yuri explains to franceinfo to make available to his community “time” And the for him “expert”. “We study different investment possibilities according to the risk profile, but we can also talk about entrepreneurship … “ Details of the 23-year-old now residing in Estonia, who confirms that his knowledge of finance allowed him to become “Millionaire three months after leaving [ses] engineering studies”.
Télémaque’s proposal is less expensive. For €29 per month, the influencer offers to join “The community in which I and dozens of cryptocurrency investors will teach you how to create wealth.”. “No Excuses: Inflation is eating you from the inside, you have to start investing one day, so start today, in the hands of the experts. It’s time to start making money”confirms that the reader is his “owner”.
At the mention of hundreds of videos that promise a quick enrichment to an uninformed audience, Gregory Raymond sighs. “Networks like TikTok are areas where there is still little coverage of the actors responsible for this environment, but where charlatans thrive.”, the journalist and co-founder of the specialized newsletter The Big Whale regrets. Nothing guarantees the quality of training or coaching provided by these young influencers. “againstSome private groups advise investing in highly liquid cryptocurrencies, which are subject to high volatility.”he adds.
“These calls to invest may be initiated by people involved in these cryptocurrencies who seek to inflate the price for personal gain.”Gregory Raymond, journalist specializing in crypto assets
Serene, Yuri claims to intelligently trust the 270,000 people following him. “The TikTok algorithm highlights remarkable content perfectly, but we live in an incredible period where information is accessible online: interested people are responsible and free to deepen their knowledge by doing their own research”Videographer details.
When asked about possible scams that abound on networks like TikTok, authorities do not frankly share Yuri’s opinion. “Scams involving fraudulent financial services or products target mainly young people, among the most vulnerable. The economic crisis, caused by the health crisis, has strengthened the attractiveness of this type of misleading offers”interacts with the Directorate General of Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention, contacted by franceinfo.
This department, which is dependent on the Ministry of Economy, adds that several investigations into possible hidden advertisements on blogs or on social networks by influencers are currently underway. Offenders are subject to a penalty of up to 300,000 euros and/or imprisonment for two years, and the suppression of fraud is supported. Before we recall that influencer Nabila Vergara had to pay a fine of €20,000 in July 2021 after promoting a bitcoin trading service.
Some videographers on TikTok do not sell PDF documents that promise a bright financial future. On the podium, Marvin *Mato* and others go even further. After promoting the automated trading service that “Annual return in 2021 was 615%”two trainee videographers invite young people who are interested in having access to a file ‘real financial freedom’ To contact them privately on Instagram or Telegram messages.
On these platforms, videographers in their twenties are more vocal about “Businesses that can literally change your life” : It’s about joining a company that specializes in Network Marketing (or MLM, for multi-level marketing). For a subscription of up to 149 euros per month, this Dubai-registered company offers trading and cryptocurrency services, but above all encourages its clients to enrich themselves by hiring new members, including some subscriptions that will be indirectly redistributed to them.
Marie Drilon is familiar with this mechanism and the abuses involved. Vice President of the National Union of Societies for the Defense of Families and Victims of Communities (Unadfi), she explained that she has been approached on several occasions by families whose children have joined companies with similar operations. “I remember a high school student who stopped studying in the second after joining MLM. His father encouraged him, but his mother was very worried”comments this specialist, who warns of the dangers of abolishing education and social affiliation.
“According to the testimonies we have received, these hierarchical structures target young people, often from humble backgrounds, regardless of whether it is money from a student loan without significant means”Claire Castanet, director in charge of savers protection at the Autorité des marchés Financiers (AMF) abounds.
“You have been made to believe that you will win a lot, and we encourage you to ignore the warnings of your loved ones, who can help you undo this activity.”Claire Castanet, responsible for protecting savers at AMF
And to emphasize that network marketing companies primarily target personal files “Without solid knowledge of economics or finance, and who really believe there are easy ways to make money”.
What is TikTok doing to protect its young audience from exposure to these shady mechanisms? In a contact with franceinfo, the social network said it bears responsibility. We remove any content that promotes investment plans that promise high returns, fraudulent bets, or any other type of fraud.interacts with the company, which determines that its advertising rules prohibit “Ads promoting virtual currencies and cryptocurrency exchanges”.
In order to make young people aware of these transgressions, the Autorité des marchés financiers launched a campaign in December that was broadcast on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok using influencer codes.
The right plan to get rich quickly thanks #trade ? There is no. On the other hand, the # cheatThey are often there! ⚠️
Find out the signs that should alert you ➡️ https://t.co/I23YtUhFau #ScamSecrets pic.twitter.com/n4qsbC2poz
– AMF (AMF_actu) December 15 2021
To avoid these pitfalls, Claire Castanet invites young people who may come across these videos on social networks to view them“Critical Mind” Based on “Common sense”. “You have to wonder why these people are so generous: If their techniques for making money in the markets work so well, why are they so eager to recruit new members? What are their skills in finance really? Do I really understand what I’m going to invest in?” She wonders. “Quick wins, no risk, staying on your couch or poolside…it doesn’t existThis specialist concludes. When it’s too good to be true, it’s not true.”
* All nicknames for the mentioned influencers have been changed.