The world of cryptocurrency scams is expanding like there’s no tomorrow. Vancouver police have just issued a warning after the emergence of two new digital currency-based scams that have already stolen as much as $2 million over the past few weeks.
Crypto Scams Are a Big Deal
This month, we have seen more evidence of cryptocurrency scams entering our midst. One man claims to have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars to one such venture that involved a Twitter account using the likeness of Elon Musk, the South African entrepreneur behind large companies such as SpaceX and Tesla. This occurred last February, and the victim recalls a fake giveaway message in which the scammers claimed any BTC sent to them would be doubled… Always a red flag.
In addition, Graham Clark – the alleged teen hacker behind last summer’s BTC-Twitter scam – was recently sentenced to three years in a youthful detention center for his role in compromising several well-known social media accounts that belonged to figures such as Bill Gates, Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Clark allegedly gained control of these accounts (and several others) and posted fake giveaway messages on their pages to get their followers to send BTC.
All who did were promised that their funds would be doubled. Instead, Clark simply walked away with more than $100,000 in BTC, though this money has since been returned in exchange for the plea deal that helped him avoid the minimum ten years in prison.
The present scams that Vancouver police are warning about involve one in which a text message is sent to a person’s phone by someone claiming to be romantically interested in them. As the conversation progresses, the scammer potentially convinces the person to invest in a fake cryptocurrency company. They lose all their money and walk away with a broken heart and empty pockets.
The second scam involves a person approaching another on social media requesting to be pals. Once a conversation is initiated, the instigator asks the person to invest in a fake crypto company. Once they do, they are given access to fake returns. However, when that person tries to withdraw their money, all communication ends, and the access is suspended.
Please Come Forward and Tell Your Story
Vancouver Police Department spokeswoman Const. Tania Visintin claims that there are likely more victims of these scams than what’s being reported. She says that many of the victims often feel embarrassed or shameful about being had or taken in such a way, which makes them reluctant to report the crime and tell their situation to police authorities. She says:
Predators will often exploit two powerful human emotions: greed and love. Victims are typically lured in with the idea that they will be part of an opportunity to make money or in other cases, they will be doing a friend or romantic interest a favor.