This Year Will Be Historic For Crypto Scammers

The vast majority of cryptocurrency scams include Ponzi/fake investment, paid crypto price signals (paid groups), Bitcoin giveaway, bitcoin recovery and video (giveaway) scams

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Photo by Alec Favale on Unsplash

The bull market is back.

So is the fear of missing out, which as always, is fueled by thousands of seasonal investors.

And the scammers are back with a bang.

As Bitcoin broke through the $10,500 resistance level on July 27, scammers increased booby traps across the Internet.

Their tactics and the bait has also been redesigned to lure more victims.

This is a carefully choreographed strategy to fully capitalize on the FOMO on the bull market, that is expected to last the next two years.

Most scamming activity is happening on Twitter, where scammers have impersonated several large accounts belonging to elite traders.

Victims have reported being asked by scammers to either join paid crypto price signals groups, participate in giveaways, or to invest in phony companies.

The escalation of scams on Twitter comes just two weeks after major US Twitter accounts were hacked in a Bitcoin scam.

Twitter hackers perpetrated a “trust trading” scam, in which the scammer impersonates a notable person or company on social media and implores users to send them cryptocurrency in return for more later.

By hacking into Twitter accounts belonging to former US president Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and a host of other elite personalities on July 15, hackers were able to trick masses to donate well over 13.14 BTC worth around $144,000 at the time of this writing.

Several other less sophisticated attacks which have happened this year have also managed to get away with decent amounts in upwards of $100,000, according to Scam Alert, a new blockchain crime reporting tool by Whale Alert.

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Top scams in June. Image by Scam Alert

Whale Alerts estimates that scammers stole about $24 million in the first half of 2020.

Based on Chainalysis (another company focused on the transparency of blockchain transactions) estimates, scams have taken in more than $381 million from victims so far this year.

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Image by Chainalysis

The most common types of scams during a bull market include Ponzi/fake investment, paid crypto price signals (paid groups), giveaways, bitcoin recovery, and video (giveaways) scams.

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Source: TrustPilot

No one gets rich in one day.

Even during a Bitcoin bull run.

But it’s like people get hypnotized when scammers promise massive, outsized returns for those who invest in their fake companies.

Victims are easily convinced to invest substantial sums in the hopes of a big payout.

Scammers typically promote themselves aggressively on social media and elsewhere, going so far as to build sophisticated websites and run aggressive marketing campaigns to attract investors.

So, if you do not wish to lose money, calm your horses, look for a legitimate cryptocurrency exchange and take a moment to learn a thing or two about trading.

There are numerous cases of people who have been scammed by Ponzi and illegitimate trading companies already. Why would you wish to be next?

Chainalysis uncovered that over 2.4 million individual transfers were made to Ponzi schemes in 2019.

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Paid BTC price signals chat groups never deliver their end of the deal. Screenshot by author

Scammers have intensified the recruitment of new investors looking for Bitcoin price alerts.

Recruitment begins on Twitter where scammers have impersonated many accounts belonging to respected traders.

When the phony Twitter accounts get a large following, the scammers then convert most followers into ardent paying subscribers.

Most paid groups are on Telegram, Slack, and Discord.

Victims get lured by promises of trading calls guaranteeing monstrous profits.

And many newcomers continue to waste hard-earned dollars to pay for fake calls every month.

It’s pointless to waste your money and time in a paid group, owned by some random guy, who claims he can predict the next Bitcoin price movement.

It makes no sense why a trader with a successful trading system would rather use precious time to market cryptocurrency Telegram groups.

It’s also illogical why a successful trader would sell their edge.

Truth is, most bitcoin signals groups are owned by inexperienced traders relying on guesswork.

If you want to lose money, pay for crypto signals.

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Yet another Bitcoin scam impersonating Elon Musk on YouTube. Screenshot by Author

Barely two weeks after hackers scammed unsuspecting plebs on Twitter, another “trust trading” gimmick was pulled, but this time on YouTube.

Scammers impersonated Tesla’s YouTube channel and live-streamed an older interview of Elon Musk promising users that if they sent Bitcoin to the address given, they’d receive double that amount in return.

Unbelievably, the channel reached a live audience of more than 29,000.

It’s rather obvious that most victims are lured by the promise of quick riches.

According to CryptoScamDB, an open source database for reporting scams and their associated cryptocurrency addresses, trust trading is the most frequently reported type of scam by a wide margin.

Losing Bitcoin is gut-wrenching.

But your pain is a prize for scammers.

When people get scammed, they start looking for ways to recover their Bitcoin.

There are many online platforms where people engage in group discussions on the popular crypto scams.

The only problem is the scammers who have infiltrated those platforms, scouting for vulnerable people.

When genuine people write a post or a comment about a scam incident, scammers reply with pretentious empathy, detailing how they also fell victim and how they recovered their Bitcoin.

Scammers are likely to say they recovered their Bitcoin by contacting a cryptocurrency recovery and tracing company.

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It’s hard to know if this is genuine or not, so it’s better to just keep off. Screenshot by Author

Nothing is more powerful than promising someone there’s a way to recover something precious.

So, most victims get in touch with the scammer and lose more Bitcoin.

We are in a bull run, and the plan is to earn a profit and not to lose money to scams. Play safe. The Author trades cryptocurrency.

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