Crypto Scamming Intensifies as Digital Asset Market Rallies

Most crimes, after all, are crimes of opportunity. After all, bad actors and scammers just need to get lucky once. And with the resurgence of the cryptocurrency market, Bitcoin has reached $70,000 or even higher meme coins Start making a comeback, opportunity is everywhere.

This, as a new crime report The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) shows that Americans made more than 43,000 complaints about cryptocurrency scams last year. Those complaints were not at all unfounded: Losses from crypto-based fraud and scams soared to $3.9 billion, a 53% increase year-over-year.

“These scams are designed to lure targeted individuals with the promise of attractive returns on their investments,” the FBI said.

Scam factories, where criminals traffic thousands of individuals, confining them to premises Force them to do online scams Targeting unsuspecting foreign nationals is a driving force behind the rise in crypto scams. A popular trick is “pig slaughterWhere criminals use fictitious identities to develop relationships and establish relationships with victims using dating apps, social media platforms, professional networking sites or encrypted messaging apps.

The schemes are socially engineered to build trust, usually starting with a romance or trust scam and evolving into cryptocurrency investment fraud – when the “pig”, after being fattened, is “butchered”.

According to the FBI report, business email compromise attacks were the second most popular cyber-crime tactic, allowing criminals to extract $2.9 billion from US victims.

Read more, Scam factories use advanced technology to perpetrate payment fraud

Scammers look for easy targets and increase their attacks

The staggering global scale of these contemporary cryptocurrency scams underscores the urgent need for greater awareness and vigilance among the general public. As the popularity of cryptocurrencies continues to grow, it is important that people remain cautious and skeptical if an unknown number or person attempts to contact them.

This is because, once contact is established, bad actors can choose from a number of tactics to ensnare their victims.

as another Press release According to the FBI, criminals are also creating fake gaming apps to steal millions of dollars in cryptocurrency, advertising the apps as play-to-earn games that offer financial incentives to players.

This particular scam works as follows: The bad actor – having established a relationship with their victim – instructs the target to create a cryptocurrency wallet, purchase cryptocurrency, and join a specific game app. The more money the victim has in their wallet, the more rewards they will earn, and as the victim plays the game, they see fake rewards credited to the app.

However, what ends up happening is that the criminals empty their wallets using a malicious program that the victims unknowingly activate when they join the game – and while the victims are often told that they are paying extra You can get your money back by paying the fee, this is just another iteration of the same scam.

Tools such as artificial intelligence (AI) are helping bad actors systematically industrialize their attacks, expanding their reach across the globe through digital platforms.

see also, Crypto continues to serve as a case study in behavioral economics

If it's too good to be true, it probably is

The crypto market is already notorious Ponzi like schemes and other scams – and bad actors are increasingly taking advantage of victims who have lost cryptocurrency due to fraud, scams and thefts with recovery schemes that are themselves fraudulent.

According to the FBI, representatives of fraudulent businesses claiming to provide cryptocurrency tracing and promising the ability to recover lost funds are using social media and other messaging to directly contact victims seeking redress for their lost assets. Turning to platforms.

These recovery scheme fraudsters charge upfront fees and either stop communicating with the victim after receiving the initial deposit, or present incomplete or inaccurate tracing reports and request additional fees to recover the funds. Fraudsters may claim affiliation with law enforcement or legal services to appear legitimate.

In a recent interview with PYMNTS, kate frankishChief Business Development Officer and Anti-Fraud Lead pay.ukExplained how digital technologies such as AI deepfake images are enabling fraudsters to mimic individuals with extraordinary accuracy, making it difficult even for tech-savvy individuals to tell what is real.

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