Scammers seem to be making fortunes out of stolen cryptocurrencies, even by using legitimate channels such as social media, as online transactions are on the rise but were supposed to enable secure digital payments and purchases.
Despite new technologies such as the blockchain, fraudsters seem to be stealing more information about people, combining old and new hacks to cheat investors of their hard-earned money.
While a website owner got away with $1.5 Million in 6 months by building a fake exchange, a YouTuber recently defrauded people to the tune of $130,000 within 24 hours with a seemingly authentic BTC address.
The biggest scam unearthed so far was of BitClub Network, to the tune of $722 Million in December 2019, a prosecution case against which is in progress. This was closely followed by the Plustoken fraud worth $188 Million, again in 2019.
On the other hand, threatening emails have been emerging as a new fraud tactic among scammers who target their victims through blackmail. U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation recently warned that by leveraging increased levels of panic during the COVID-19 pandemic, fraudsters are stealing and laundering money through a complex ecosystem that includes legitimate platforms.
This has been in addition to the phishing attacks faced by Australia recently and a rising number of sexual extortion emails targeting the fear of victims. It includes an email that threatens to post an explicit video of the recipient or disclose to their known contacts about an embarrassing affair of the victim.
Ransomware seems to be dwindling away as a popular way to extort money, but improvised tactics such as above are now making headlines. 2020 does not seem to be any better for crypto investors, who were already pulling out of cryptocurrencies, and may now totally lose their trust in Bitcoin.