A fraud prevention company has claimed that 400,000 crypto scams were created in 2020 — and we could see an increase of 75% in 2021.
Bolster says that there is a clear correlation between “the rise in scams to the value and popularity of cryptocurrencies.”
The company’s co-founder and CTO, Shashi Prakash, said:
“Among all the different types of scams, crypto scams are the fastest growing category, and we are just at the beginning of this new wave of digital theft campaigns. We continue to see scammers being opportunistic and designing campaigns focused on real time, surging trends when people are likely not to be on guard because it’s so new.”
More than 300 million websites were analyzed for the research. According to Bolster, the most prolific types of scams were fake prizes, giveaways and sweepstakes — with investment-related scams and celebrity impersonations also prominent.
Bitcoin, Chainlink and Ethereum were most commonly used in scams, while Elon Musk, John McAfee and Yusaku Maezawa were the most likely celebrities to be impersonated.
Bolster warned crypto companies that they are “increasingly a target” — with thieves determined to attack brands and put up fake sites to fool and scam customers. Meanwhile, individuals were urged to practise safe web browsing and remain vigilant. The report concluded:
“Like credit card transactions over the web, cryptocurrency is here to stay. And like with credit cards, there will always be fraud and theft to contend with. But unlike credit cards where fraud detection and prevention is well-understood, cryptocurrency’s novelty has many investors in ‘learn mode’ and as a result raises the risk of the unsuspecting being scammed.”
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