Scamming is nothing new. There has been and will be people trying to defraud others out of something that doesn’t belong to them. The word scam has not been around for very long. In fact, it emerged in the English language in 1963. Needless to say, with the continuous expansion of the internet in terms of products and services offered online, the number of dishonesty and fraud also increases in a directly proportional way. A scam exist in many different forms but the bottom-line is that it’s a dishonest and illegal act.
If you own a phone, I am almost certain that you have received a robocall, text message or even from real people trying to steal your personal information or your money. Some may also offer you money, free product trials or opportunities to buy products. According to The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) data, in 2020, more 2.1 million frauds were reported which included imposter scams or online Shopping scams.
Banking scam is very common in our society today. It is an illegal act by which a scammer can gain access to people’s personal and financial information. There are various methods that have been employed by the culprits in an effort to acquire your bank account numbers and passwords for online baking. Some of these are:
1) Overpayment scams
This scam typically begins with someone sending a fake check or money order for more than the amount owed. Then, ask you to deposit the check and send back the difference via wire transfer. Later, the check bounces, leaving you liable for the entire amount.
2) Automatic Withdrawal Scams
This is done by setting up automatic debits from your back account after obtaining your account information. A demand draft, which is processed similar to a check, bearing your name, account number and states an account. The draft does not require a signature and once received by the bank, the amount on the check is then sent to the scammer’s bank account.
3) Phishing Scams
This is a very popular scam known today. An email that appears to be from a reputable source is sent to individuals asking for personal information which can be used to open fake bank accounts.
4) Government Imposter scams
Some scammers may pretend to be calling from a government agency such as the IRS, Medicare and even Social Security Administration. These type of scam comes in various forms but there always seem to be some urgency for you to make a payment in order to avoid penalties or jail time.
5) Employment Scams
You post your resume on an employment website such as Indeed, LinkedIn or Monster and the scammer contacts you in a very professional manner with a job offer. An online interview is initiated through email, video chat or text messages. After the interview, the job is yours! They will ask for your personal information and banking information and use you as an intermediary to send money to a client in the form of cryptocurrency.
Due to the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, scammers are now diverting their fraud away from requesting payment in fiat currencies such as USD and GBP to requesting it in Cryptocurrencies. The ways to get scammed in Cryptocurrency are numerous! This has been done through the use of:
Fake Mobile App
Fake Crypto giveaways
Blackmail or extortion
Pump and dump Altcoins
Defi rug pulls
Just about anybody can be a victim of a scam in crypto. Most people investing in crypto do it to make profit and as a result, eager crypto investors are at the heart of these scams because they are lured in by incredible deals or amazing profits. However, I urge anyone investing in crypto to Do Your Own Research (DYOR) before jumping into any coins. Many people have gotten trapped by these scams in the past and have shared their experience online.
The best way to avoid getting scammed is to be able to know what to look for. Typically, it boils down to a few things.
The promise of free money.
Big payouts with guaranteed returns.
Big claims without details or explanation.
Cybersecurity involves the protection of internet-connected systems such as hardware, software and data from cyberthreats. If your business have any connection to the internet then you may be prone to cyber attacks. Several business enterprise have been victimized by hackers since the beginning of the digital age. Cryptocurrency exchange such as Binance, the largest crypto exchange by trading volume, has had its fair share of cyber attacks. In 2019, the exchange was hacked and the hackers claimed to gain access to customers passport and identity documents. The unidentified individual opted to blackmail Binance and demanded a payment of 300 Bitcoin in exchange for withholding 10,000 photos belonging to Binance customers.
A more recent cybersecurity breach happened in May 2021 on the largest pipeline in the U.S. known as the Colonial Pipeline. The pipeline is over 5500 Miles, originating at Houston, Texas, on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and ends at the Port of New York and New Jersey. Over 100Gb of data was stolen within a two-hour period and a ransomware was attached to the IT network that infected many of the computer systems. The attacker demanded a payment of 75 bitcoin ($4.4 million at the time).
If you become a victim of a Cryptocurrency scam or you suspect suspicious activity, there are a few ways to report this fraud. By doing this, you will protect yourself and others from being defrauded in this cryptocurrency environment.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at ReportFraud.ftc.gov
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) at sec.gov/tcr
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) at CFTC.gov/complaint
The cryptocurrency exchange company you used to send the money