Cryptocurrency Scams To Be Aware Of During COVID-19

This is the 6th in a series of articles posted curtesy of Sunrise MarketPlace and Marketplace at Birdcage to better educate our community on increased scam activity during the Pandemic. This series is meant to help you identify the different kinds of scams and help you to prevent falling victim to any of them.

Scammers are using cryptocurrency technology to steal and launder money, according to the FBI. For instance, scammers can mine another person’s cryptocurrency by using their computer or smartphone processing power. This is called crypto-jacking, and scammers can put malicious code onto a device without knowledge from the owner. Other types of scams include:

  • Blackmail attempts.

  • Work-from-home scams.

  • Paying for non-existent equipment or treatment.

  • Investment scams.

Finance experts discovered that COVID-19 has raised the impact of crypto scams, stating that as of May 2020, nearly $1.4 billion has been stolen by malicious hackers. Most of this money was lost to a large-scale Ponzi scheme, where people invest in a fake business and see no return. Experts predict that 2020 is on track to be the second-highest year on record for cryptocurrency crime.

How to Spot

Scammers are becoming increasingly clever in their attempts to take money from others. To avoid cryptocurrency scams, watch out for the following:

  • Guarantees that you will make money.

  • Payouts that will double your money in a short amount of time.

  • “Free” money.

  • Claims about their company that cannot be validated.

If you notice that your device is running slower than usual, this could be a sign of crypto jacking. There are some steps to take, including:

  • Closing sites or apps that drain the battery.

  • Using an antivirus software.

  • Avoiding unknown links and unfamiliar sites.

  • Considering ad blockers.

Additionally, always remember to research and verify any investment or dealer in virtual currency options, and do not share any private information with someone you do not trust.

How to Report

Victims of crypto scams can input scammers’ data onto a database in the hopes of catching these cyber criminals. Users can also keep up to date with the latest scams or request verification of an investment.

To report a scam, you will first need to create a login. Then, you can upload pictures, names, and other details to warn others of the scam. The reports are anonymous and do not need any personal information. If you still feel uncomfortable disclosing the information to this database, you can always report the scam to the FTC.

Unfortunately, cryptocurrency is not regulated like regular money, which means investors also do not have the same protections. If your cryptocurrency is stolen, the government might not be able to retrieve your money.

We hope you have found our most recent article educational and helpful. Please note that our next upcoming article topic will be on “Economic Impact Payment Scam.”

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