As the crypto fever is slowly taking over the entire world, scammers are using this newfound opportunity to dupe gullible netizens!
According to FTC, the cryptocurrency scammers, who either pretend to be the high profile crypto enthusiast or Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, have managed to mint over a whopping $2 million in just six months duration.
But that’s not all. The Federal Trade Commission, aka FTC, received close to 7,000 complaints from consumers who reported losing a total of more than $80 million in crypto-related scams since the beginning of October 2020.
As per the FTC, the financial losses to fraudsters who claim to be Elon Musk or some other well-known public figure went up by 1,000% in 2020, compared to a year ago period! These scams generally begin as investment tips on various message boards.
Twitter is being used as the main tool by these scammers to dupe unsuspecting and over excited people.
The free investment advice is often meant to lure people to fake investment sites, the link to which is included alongside the tip.
The scammers skillfully impersonate well-known personalities on Twitter by copying their current profile picture and choosing usernames that are very similar to those of their genuine or verified accounts.
After that, the scammers post replies to popular tweets made by their targeted celebrity accounts in order to make them prominent on Twitter.
Now, even though creating such fake profiles is against Twitter’s terms and conditions, according to media reports, moderators of the popular microblogging platform have been struggling to rein the activity. Thus, it continues to plague the Twitterverse.
Sometimes, expert scammers also step it up a notch by hacking the profiles of well-known personalities instead of simply impersonating them.
In July 2020, accounts of individuals such as the US President Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Barack Obama, Kanye West and several others were targeted by threat actors on Twitter for an apparent Bitcoin scam.
The scams were masked as ‘giveaways’ and targeted the following of the prominent figures hoping they would take the bait. According to the FTC, such scammers do not strictly stick to one niche as they also make money from online romance scams and by impersonating government authorities.
Furthermore, as per the research of FTC, consumers who are aged between 20 and 49 are more likely to be conned rather than older age groups. So, how do you stay safe?
Well, you can simply follow a set of guidelines produced by the FTC based on common methods used by scammers. They are as follows:
- Guaranteed returns are always fake, do not fall for them.
- Promises of free money are also fake.
- Stay wary of users making big claims without providing any details or explanations.
- Celebrity endorsements or testimonials can also easily be fake, so stay away from them.
- Lastly, be highly wary of anyone who asks you to pay via wire transfer or gift cards as money sent via such methods cannot be recovered.
All in all, always make sure to refer to genuine sources of information that hold authority in their respective niches, and that will help you keep your wallet safe and peace of mind in check!