The FBI has warned about 4 cryptocurrency scams during Covid-19

20 Apr 2020

According to the FBI, Developments in cryptocurrency technology have driven its popularity. It has also become easier for companies to accept cryptocurrencies as payments, which has helped make them more accessible. The FBI maintains that cryptocurrency-related fraud schemes are affecting people of all ages, and new victims are being targeted everyday.

The FBI is warning citizens of an increase in COVID-19 related scams. This includes schemes like these:

Blackmail Attempts – Threatening emails or letters that claim to have access to your personal information and demand you pay them in Bitcoin to keep this info secret have been around for years. With COVID-19 looming, fraudsters have been using new tactics to get money. Their propose claim that your information will be released and that your family may end up getting infected by coronavirus unless you pay to a bitcoin wallet.

Work from home scams – Scammers will pose as employers and contact you to request that they wire a donation into your account. It’s likely that the money they have is stolen from others, so please do not release information such as your account details. Your acceptance and transfer of the stolen money are both illegal activities. You could also be in violation of financial laws for such actions.

Paying for non-existent treatments or equipment – Scammers are luring customers from verified shopping sites with offers of products that supposedly prevent COVID-19 and are then paying behind the scenes in cryptocurrencies. The deals offer is fake or completely non-existent.

Investment scams – Criminals often fraudulently promote fake investments (such as ICOs) in new and developing cryptocurrencies to steal money from unsuspecting victims. Scams are typically based around an attractive scenario that could be a “too good to be true” offer – generally involving a short-term investment for large monetary returns. Scammers often steal investment money and use tricks of cryptocurrency to make the destination of stolen funds hard to find.

Finally, The FBI recommends that people be aware of the potential pitfalls of using a virtual currency, and what this entails.

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