Due to the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies and the number of people in need of financial help at COVID-19, crypto frauds are on the rise, says the broker Joe Lewis from The Investment Center. Cryptocurrencies have gradually progressed from a purely speculative instrument to a more widely recognized method of payment. Bitcoin is currently accepted by a growing number of online merchants and is being utilized for more traditional transactions. Cybercriminals are targeting more people and organizations with cryptocurrency frauds as a result of this shift. Research released on Thursday by analysts examines the most recent forms of crypto scams and offers tips on how to avoid being a victim.

According to Bolster’s “Cryptocurrency Scam Report,” moreover 400,000 crypto scams were generated in 2020, up 40% from 2019. According to current predictions, this number might increase by as much as 75% by 2021. The growth in these frauds, according to the analysts, is due to the rising use of cryptocurrencies as well as the increased number of people seeking financial assistance during the coronavirus outbreak.

The broker outlined four distinct sorts of crypto frauds in a general sense:

  • Prizes, freebies, or sweepstakes that aren’t real
  • Scams involving investments
  • Schemes of payment in advance
  • Impersonations of celebrities

For example, to advertise a twice-back offer, a crypto wallet validation/giveaway employs Elon Musk and Tesla. Simply transfer 0.1 to 30 Bitcoin (BTC) to the payment address given, and you’ll get 0.2 to 60 BTC in return. Even though the message appears to be real, including an image of Musk, a barcode, and other information, Bolster verified that the website is a fraud.

Another example is a page that utilizes images of the Winklevoss brothers and their legitimate Gemini logo, promising to refund you double your money if you contribute between 0.1 and 20 BTC or 3 to 200 Ethereum (ETH), however, there are warning indications that this is a fraud. The site has a.ph top-level domain, which is associated with the Philippines, however, it is hosted in the United Kingdom. Bolster also discovered several Bitcoin foundation websites on the same domain.

The broker recommends the following precautions to safeguard your company and yourself from cryptocurrency scams:

  • Cryptocurrency foundations and businesses that directly operate in the cryptocurrency industry should be aware that they are becoming increasingly a target. Thieves will target your brand, hijacking your domain, and creating fake websites to deceive and defraud your customers. Prepare with technology that can detect and assist you stop brand infringements, fraud campaigns, and scams.
  • Recognize that Bitcoin scams will increasingly target your workers via emails or shared websites. Consider implementing a real-time URL scanning feature to detect and block dangerous links as they pass across your network to remain ahead of the game.
  • You are just as much of a target as an individual. Maintain vigilance and practice safe web browsing and email as usual. If you’re even the slightest bit suspicious, don’t click any URLs sent your way. If you’re unsure about a link you’re about to open, verify it in real-time using a free URL scanner like CheckPhish.ai.

The broker points to the crypto frauds and says Cryptocurrency is a popular topic right now. You can use it to purchase a car… You can even purchase a tweet with it. When something gets popular, it becomes a target for con artists. It’s now your turn to protect yourself. Here are five methods to avoid being a victim of a Bitcoin scam.

Some other tips that the broker emphasizes are as following. 

  • Determine whether or not you are a target. You are if you work in the Bitcoin business. If you work in the cryptocurrency space—especially if it’s Fintech—you may be a target.
  • Prepare yourself. Create mechanisms to detect brand, domain name, and other infringements. Make sure your consumers know how to recognize when they’re working with your firm.
  • Make sure your staff is safe. To help block fraudulent links, educate people on best practices and implement URL scanning on your network.
  • Use caution when browsing the internet. You and your workers should avoid accessing dubious websites and installing unfamiliar programs.
  • Don’t press the button. Don’t click on that strange link, whether it’s in an email or elsewhere. You can run it via a link scanner like CheckPhish if you’re tempted.

Most security procedures are comparable to these recommendations. Fraudsters and dangerous actors will use cryptocurrency as the next avenue to attack you.