Regardless of what do we do, most of us use the internet on a daily basis. Let it be for shopping, browsing, school or work stuff, and last but not least cryptocurrencies - either buying, trading, or just checking out our balances.
What is internet fraud? It is a term used for frauds that do not require a face to face interactions. According to CipherTrace, there were over 4 billion USD scammed, stolen, or misappropriated in 2019 when it comes to cryptocurrencies. There are ways to protect yourself, one of those is being knowledgeable about the common techniques fraudsters may attempt.
Here is a quick overview of some of the possible scams:
Purchase scams or stolen credentials
A fraudster sets up a fake website that imitates the genuine one. Then they create social media profiles who imitate the genuine one and use those profiles to add comments and post offers to genuine posts. A user mistakenly clicks on the fake link and logs in using his credentials or even makes a cryptocurrency purchase on that website. To avoid this, the customer should always check and make sure the link is indeed genuine and that the domain is verified.
Phishing is a process whereby someone attempts to obtain your confidential information, such as your passwords, your credit card number, your bank account details, or other information protected by the Data Protection Act. It occurs when an attacker, masquerading as a trusted entity, dupes a victim into opening an email, instant message, or text message. The recipient is then tricked into clicking a malicious link, which can lead to the installation of malware.
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They often say that love is blind, and criminals often take advantage of that. The scammer will pretend to be someone they're not by creating a fake profile, using fake images. After building up the relationship they may come up with a medical emergency or something similar and request funds from the victim.
The "sob story" fundraiser
People's emotions make us human, but at the same time, they also make us vulnerable. Imagine reading about someone in distress or there is a fundraiser for animals in distress. Your empathy kicks in as you help and you donate to a false cause.
Deposit 10 ETH get 100ETH back scheme
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. You might receive an email, call, or chat via social media, where the fraudster will offer you an unreasonably high return on your investment. You will be asked to send a certain amount of crypto to a specific address and they will promise a 10x return within minutes. Often these offers will come up as comments on genuine posts from verified cryptocurrency exchanges or wallets and will look the same as the original posters (fake accounts that imitate the genuine author of the post).
"Get rich quick" offers
This is very similar to the previous one, however, fraudsters may promise a high return on a short/mid-term investment. They might ask for FIAT or crypto investment, help you onboard to a certain exchange, and even coerce you to borrow funds from friends and family. These types of attacks often target the most vulnerable groups - people who are in financial distress and need to quickly earn some money or crypto.
What do all of these have in common, aside from trying to steal your funds? They usually try to use human feelings or relationships to get you to trust them and send money to them for whatever reason. These types of scams are very popular in FIAT sector, but we can see an increase in the crypto sphere as well as digital currencies are becoming increasingly popular.