On April 14th, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a warning on its official website that scams related to the new crown pandemic are expected to increase, and fraudsters will use increasing fear and uncertainty to steal victims' funds And launder money through a complex cryptocurrency ecosystem.
It is reported that the FBI also warned:
"People of all ages, including the elderly, will be hurt by criminal fraud schemes, and these schemes will involve cryptocurrencies."
Four scams specially reminded by the FBI
According to the FBI, with the development of cryptocurrency technology and more and more companies accepting it as a payment method, this has promoted the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies, but at the same time they will also be used by criminals for their plans Provide convenience. The FBI also added that there are currently many traditional financial crime and money laundering programs that have been planned through cryptocurrencies. It also warned Americans in particular to be particularly vigilant against extortion schemes:
"For years, there have been circulating threatening emails or letters in which scammers claim to have access to your personal information or understand your" dirty secrets "and require you to pay with Bitcoin to prevent the disclosure of this information. With the new corona virus pandemic, this scam has new changes. The letter will mention that unless you pay with bitcoin, you will be infected with the new corona virus and your family . "
(Picture from: tucheng.com)
In addition to the above-mentioned ethical threat scams, the FBI also listed three other types of scams:
- Home office fraud: A scammer posing as an employer may ask you to accept a "donation" fund into your own bank account and then deposit it in a cryptocurrency kiosk. The so-called "donations" are probably money stolen by others. If you accept and transfer such stolen money, it will be regarded as illegal currency transfer activities and potential undocumented remittances.
- Pay for non-existent treatment or equipment costs: It is well known that scammers will attract customers from trusted e-commerce sites, and the products offered by these sites claim to prevent the new crown virus (COVID-19), then the scammers induce the victims to be unrelated And on unregulated websites, let them use cryptocurrency to pay for products that don't actually exist .
- Investment scams: Criminals often set up fraudulent investment traps on a "new" and developing cryptocurrency, using ICOs or other investment tools to obtain victims' money. These scams usually involve "superficially beautiful, but impossible to be true" scenarios and provide high returns for small-scale investments. The reality is that scammers will steal investment funds for their personal use and use the complexity of cryptocurrencies to hide the true destination of stolen funds.
How to protect yourself from fraud and scams
The FBI also mentioned that although there are legal charities, investment platforms, and e-commerce sites that accept cryptocurrency payments, people should treat the use of virtual currency as a red flag, and it also gives related tips to allow citizens Better protect yourself from fraud:
- Before sending payments or donations, verify that the suppliers and charities are legal and accept cryptocurrencies;
- Conduct extensive research on potential investment opportunities;
- Do not use your personal bank account for activities related to home office, and do not provide your bank account information to people who have no name on the account;
- Please contact law enforcement before paying the extortion money and before converting the money into cryptocurrency;
The FBI also mentioned that the agency ’s criminal investigation department has a complete team dedicated to preventing and combating money laundering and fraud related to cryptocurrencies.
It is reported that the FBI's warning is consistent with the data released by blockchain forensics company Chainalysis on April 10. The latter pointed out that although the average value of transactions received by known fraudster wallets fell by 30% in March, it involved ransom The number of frauds described by false emails has surged.