A man in Utah is the latest victim of a crypto scam. Brandon Larsen says that he downloaded what turned out to be a phony crypto application that ultimately cost him close to $400,000 in digital funds.
Brandon Larsen Has Lost Quite a Bit to Scammers
Larsen says that the app looked real enough and was allegedly associated with several cryptocurrency websites he knew and used. However, it was not long before he realized that the application was fraudulent, and that it had stolen his personal data as a means of gaining access to his crypto wallet. Overall, he has lost approximately $384,000 to the app.
He stated in an interview:
Unfortunately, it was a lookalike app, and I gave access to my digital wallet to a hacker. I have shed a lot of tears. I am not going to lie.
Stories like these are not uncommon in the crypto space, which is likely why many lawmakers and financial analysts as of late are increasing their calls for digital currency regulation. Furthermore, scams like these often seem to happen all at once.
For example, between October of last year and May of this year, approximately 7,000 individuals were hit by crypto scams, resulting in more than $80 million in funds being inadvertently transferred to accounts held by hackers. When compared to the same period between 2019 and 2020, the number has increased exponentially.
Aside from cold calls and phony apps, many scammers are posting false online videos talking about promotions or products that are ultimately meant to dupe unsuspecting investors into either giving up their funds or the login data of the digital wallets. This is something Larsen understands all too well, as he continued his interview by saying:
It will say, ‘We are doing a promo right now where we will double your cryptocurrency.’ So, send us ten and we will send you 20. You send ten and then you never see it again… You have to be super careful who you trust in cryptocurrency.
Christopher Leach of the Federal Trade Commission says that anybody promising to double or triple one’s crypto funds is a liar and a charlatan. He says that guarantees like this cannot be made given the volatile nature of the crypto space. He stated:
Often what happens is that poof! The cryptocurrency is gone when you try and remove it from the investment fund.
This Happens All Too Often
Another recent incident like this occurred in Chesterton, Indiana. The victim that time around was a 77-year-old woman who had been contacted due to apparent fraudulent activity occurring within her PayPal account.
She was told to give her caller access to her bank account and to purchase more than $3,000 in bitcoin from popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. Overall, the woman lost more than $12,000 to her respective scammer.