The cryptocurrency era has led to the creation of wealth for people across different socio-economic classes. Those who bought Bitcoin when it was launched in 2009 are now millionaires in their own right. However, the lucrative nature of the cryptocurrency industry is not without its drawbacks. A lot of people are trying to earn from the industry, and a lack of regulation has left them open to fraudsters.
Cryptocurrency Internet Fraud is on the Rise, Group-IB States
Group-IB, a renowned cybersecurity firm headquartered in Singapore, has released a report on cryptocurrency giveaway fraud. The report notes that the number of fraudulent cryptocurrency websites has increased significantly within the last 12 months. These sites in question are fake sites that promise users free cryptocurrencies if they follow certain instructions.
The creators of such sites use registered domains and deep-fake technology to impersonate public figures. When users see endorsements from these fake public figures, they think the promotions are real and fall for the scam. Between 10,000 and 20,000 people visit these fake cryptocurrency sites daily, indicating a 335% rise in viewership since 2021.
The sites promise visitors coins like Ethereum (ETH), XRP, ADA, and Ark. Only a few of these sites ever promise to give users Bitcoin. The stars of these fake sites are Tesla’s Elon Musk, Ripple’s Brad Garlinghouse, MicroStrategy’s Michael J. Saylor, and Ark Investment’s Cathie Wood.
Scammers host live streams on YouTube and Twitch using deep-fake technology to mimic the appearance of these public figures. There are also video channels dedicated to teaching people how to create realistic fake accounts and execute cryptocurrency scams from the comfort of their homes.
What Do These Scams Mean for the Future of Cryptocurrencies?
Many countries have refused to adopt cryptocurrencies because they are viewed as illegal tools used for transactions by criminals. Scams like this only reinforce the notion that cryptocurrencies are used by bad actors. Unfortunately, all you can do is stay safe and avoid any promotion that seems too good to be true.