A fake news scam which has circulated on Facebook in recent days has posed as the Cyprus Mail in an attempt to lure people in to an investment scam.

The origin of the scam is a Facebook page by the name of “NT Plus”, which posted a link to a website by the name of “Ananda News”, which itself poses as the Cyprus Mail, using the newspaper’s logo.

Nothing in the Facebook post nor in the article is true, nor does anything in it vaguely resemble reality.

The post claims that Cyprus’ President Nikos Christodoulides, erroneously spelt as “Nicos”, “was arrested after his recent interview”.

Upon clicking the link, users are greeted with the even more alarming news that Christodoulides’ “life is in danger”.

The article claims that “the shocking truth has come out live on air and Nicos (sic) Christodoulides himself deeply regrets it, but things have gone too far. Now him (sic) life is in danger!”

It then claims that “the words that ‘accidentally’ came out of Nico’s (sic) mouth” led to “many viewers … sending messages like a person possessed”.

“Nicos (sic) started receiving threats against him and yesterday he was beaten up and taken to hospital,” it added.

The article then contains a “transcript” of an “interview” in which “Christodoulides” gives instructions on how people can get rich quick by signing up to a scam website by the name of “Bitapp24”.

The article then claims the “interviewer” asked “Christodoulides”, “what will Poles who can’t afford the minimum deposit do?”, with “Christodoulides” responding that he was broke during the pandemic, with “not much work”.

For the avoidance of doubt, the real-life Nikos Christodoulides was foreign minister during the pandemic.

The article then claims that “the head of the bank called and demanded an immediate halt to the broadcast”.

The next part of the article then claims that a fictitious “Cyprus Mail editor” by the name of “Jeremy Bowen” had used the “investment platform” and made over €3,000, before withdrawing €2,000 “to buy a gift for my wife”.

The real-life Jeremy Bowen works for the BBC and not the Cyprus Mail and has done so continuously since 1984.

While amusing, the article is clearly not grounded in any truth, and the Cyprus Mail of course does not recommend that its readers sign up to “investment” scams. And of course Nikos Christodoulides has not been arrested.

Scammers posing as the Cyprus Mail is the latest in a series of online scams which have appeared on Cyprus’ social media of late, with the police having issued a warning on Saturday regarding scammers pretending to be social media influencer and member of the European parliament Fidias Panayiotou.

The police called on the public to be “extremely careful” and to not believe such posts, as they are scams.

They also urged people who wish to make investments to only do so through registered and licensed financial institutions.