In a recent press release by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), they sounded a note of warning to crypto holders telling them that they are now scammers target amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bureau mentioned that crypto scammers now look prepared to start a new wave of coronavirus-related schemes to deceive potential victims who are crypto holders.
With crypto holders these scammers target, these hackers will let loose on potential victims regardless of age or class as they evolve with the continued growth of crypto users and the crypto space. Recently, more people, businesses, kiosks, etc. now use cryptocurrency broadening target victims for these scammers.
In the release, the FBI unveiled few crypto schemes these scammers may try to explore as related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Schemes crypto hackers try on potential victims
According to the FBI, part of the tricks these scammers play on their target is blackmail attempts. The scammers, in this case, claim to have personal information about the victim and threaten to let this information out or infect them with coronavirus.
Scammers target are also tricked with coronavirus treatments that don’t exist or equipment as these scammers impersonate popular e-commerce platforms to play this trick.
Another way these scammers execute their plan to impersonate employers and ask victims to accept donations into their bank accounts so that they can be deposited via a cryptocurrency kiosk. These donations are, in most cases, stolen from other victims FBI added making such victim an illegal money mule.
Other string scammers target get to fall for
The more fascinating and enticing scheme these hackers use to deceive victims is investment tricks where they use Initial Coin Offering (ICO). The FBI said that as much as there are real and legitimate firms that accept crypto for ICO or investments, once victims are being pressurized to make crypto payments, it should be seen as a red flag. Although there are legitimate charities, investment platforms, and e-commerce sites that accept payment in cryptocurrency, the pressure to use a virtual currency should be considered a significant red flag the statement read.
While advising victims to stay safe, the FBI encourages these scammers targets to confirm if organizations they deal with actually accept crypto, verify potential investment opportunities, and not use their bank accounts for work-from-home business-related activities.
In cases of blackmail, the FBI advises that victims report such instances to necessary authorities and contact law enforcement before paying the demanded money or converting fiat to crypto for them.