Crypto scammers are on the loose, and this time, they’re preying on unsuspecting individuals on this popular social networking site.
If you frequently connect and converse with strangers online, particularly on LinkedIn, you may want to take extra precautions as the bad guys are now getting smarter.
In an interview with CNBC, special agent Sean Ragan of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation claimed that crypto scammers on LinkedIn pose a “serious threat” to user safety.
Based on the report, LinkedIn has identified a recent increase in fraud on its site, which this time involves convincing users to invest in cryptocurrencies.
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FBI special agent Sean Ragan. Source: CNBC
Big Number Of Potential Crypto Victims
According to Ragan, this type of deceptive practices is considerable and “there are a large number of potential victims, as well as a large number of victims in the past and present.”
Since LinkedIn is a reputable business networking tool, victims of crypto scammers interviewed by CNBC tend to believe the investments are genuine.
LinkedIn, which is owned by software giant Microsoft, claims to have over 830 million members in more than 200 nations.
The strategy operates as follows: a con artist establishes a false profile and contacts a LinkedIn user. The fraudster initiates polite discussion on a social network before offering to assist the victim with a cryptocurrency investment.
Generally, the scammer guides the victim to a reputable cryptocurrency investing platform, but after winning their trust, instructs them to transfer their funds to a site under their control. The account is then emptied of its cash.
Crypto total market cap at $885 billion on the daily chart | Source: TradingView.com
Crypto Scammers Are Doing Their Homework
Ragan told the network, “they are always conceiving of new methods to victimize individuals and businesses.” And these crypto scammers spend their time doing their analysis, outlining their objectives, plans, and the approaches they employ.
As the crypto community continues to grow in scope and structure, it will continue to be a prime target for con artists.
Oscar Rodriguez, senior director of trust, privacy, and equity at LinkedIn, stated, “Identifying what is bogus and what is not is quite challenging.”
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According to the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel, between October 2020 and March 31, 2021, over 7,000 people reported losing more than $80 million to crypto-related frauds.
The FTC disclosed that over 46,000 customers have reported losing more than $1 billion in cryptocurrency to scams since the beginning of 2021.
These numbers validate a 12-fold increase in the number of reports and a roughly 1,000-percent increase in reported losses compared to the same period last year.
Featured image from News Text Area, chart from TradingView.com