Cryptocurrency Scams to Rise 75% on Booming Internet Pick Pockets Activities -Report

Cryptocurrency Scams to Rise 75% on Booming Internet Pick Pockets Activities -Report

Cryptocurrency Scams to Rise 75% on Booming Internet Pick Pockets Activities -Report

After cryptocurrency scams rose 40% in 2020, Bolster, a fraud prevention company, has forecasted a further 75% increase in internet pick pockets activities on Blockchain powered currencies in 2021.

In its latest report obtained by MarketForces Africa, Bolster noted that cryptocurrency is on the verge of going mainstream with big-time brands and personalities lining up signaling support.

However, the report stated that the digital gold rush is also attracting fraudsters who see a multibillion-dollar opportunity to scam and defraud investors.

“With very little regulation, protection for the average consumers is lacking for those who invest or transact in cryptocurrencies”, it added.

Bolster’s research shows that fraud and scams related to cryptocurrencies are on the rise, and it is one of the biggest threats to them going mainstream.

Threat of scams rise as Bitcoin continues to notch new highs, while the buzz around cryptocurrency is hitting a feverish pitch.

The buzz and highs are driven by institutional investors and speculators alike and the backing of big-time personas and brands.

Elon Musk’s frequent public endorsements for example, and Telsa’s recent $1.5B purchase of Bitcoin along with near-term plans to accept cryptocurrency for vehicle purchases, has provided a significant boost.

Naturally, none of this is lost on the hackers and scammers that troll the Internet for a quick buck, or in this case billions of bucks. In fact, the numbers we’ve observed with our platform are eye-opening.

In 2020, the report hinted that Bolster witnessed a 40% year-over-year increase in crypto-related scams to over 400,000.

“Looking ahead we anticipate a more than 75% increase in 2021. We observed the scams occurring across a wider range of top-level-domains, indicating a growing threat landscape.

“Fraudsters are targeting unwary consumers with everything from fake sites designed to steal credentials to scams that require a small investment with the promise of a guaranteed return”, it explained.

Bolster said some are even promoting outright sweepstakes type scams by announcing giveaways.

Broadly, the report stated that there are four types of cryptocurrency scams that are proliferating namely fake prizes, giveaways, or sweepstakes.

In addition, there are investment related scams, advance fee schemes and celebrity impersonations.

Interestingly, most of the scams are also leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic and positioned as a campaign to help those who need assistance. The scams also combine different tactics, for example, a celebrity giving away cryptos for an advance fee.

Cryptocurrency Value and Hype Fuel Scams

Bolster hinted that the starkest condition observed is the correlation between cryptocurrency value and hype and fraud.

It said as a particular cryptocurrency experienced an uptick in either value or hype, fraudsters and scammers quickly came out of the woodwork to register domains and launch fraud sites.

“We observed it all like clockwork. Take for example Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization.

“There is correlation between Bitcoin value and number of Bitcoin scams during 2020 and the start of 2021.

“Particularly in the second half of 2020, the rapid uptick in currency value was matched by an equally alarming uptick in scam and hype related activity”, the report stated.

Scammer Casting Wide Net

Bolster report indicates that crypto scammers are casting a wide net Like many online scams, crypto scams use well-known techniques and playbooks.

“The scammers usually start by registering a domain name that could be mistaken for a legitimate web address and set up a realistic site.

“Though the nature of the scam varies, the common theme is that they request some sort of payment using a crypto currency.

“The digital nature of these scams allows bad actors to replicate and create multiple scams with minimal effort.

“The ease of replicating a scam allows crypto scammers to target multiple crypto currencies, and that is exactly what Bolster Research has discovered”, it explained.

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Also, the top three of the most used cryptos for the scams were Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and chainlink (LINK). Moreover, scammers impersonated crypto exchanges such as Binance, Coinbase, and Gemini.

Cryptocurrency Scams to Rise 75% on Booming Internet Pick Pockets Activities -Report