Crypto gift fraud has been a problem for those involved in the crypto community since the last major bull market in late 2017. Whether you are a seasoned investor or just starting out in the crypto industry, we encourage all of our clients to learn about current crypto-related scams and how to spot them. In this article, we will discuss gift scams, an increasingly common tactic used by online scammers. Simply put, giveaway scams are a form of social engineering in which scammers trick cryptocurrency investors into believing that a major cryptocurrency exchange is involved or that a celebrity is hosting a giveaway. Bitcoin scam recovery is done by tracing the fraudulent account.
COINBASE TWITTER SPOOF
There is a Twitter account impersonating Coinbase replying to a legitimate Coinbase tweet with an image promoting a 5,000 BTC giveaway scam.The link in this image leads to a web page that asks you to verify your Bitcoin address by sending it to the scammer’s giveaway address in the range of 0.1 to 10 BTC. According to the scammer’s website, he will get back 10 times what you paid. This all sounds very good, but it is 100% fraud and you will get 0 BTC back!His website for cryptocurrency giveaway scams using giveaway scam addresses.
CELEBRITY TWITTER IMPERSONATION
In this example, we have a very normal Twitter account that replies to a tweet from Senator Bernie Sanders. The answer here is to thank Elon Musk and share what appears to be Elon Musk’s tweet about Tesla’s sponsored Bitcoin and Ethereum giveaway. In fact, the image has been manipulated to make it look like Elon Musk created this tweet, and is only made by scammers. If you go to the scammer image link, it looks like a blog post on Medium. Within the post are two of his “official” links leading to “free” Bitcoin and Ethereum. These two links lead to unreliable and fraudulent giveaway addresses no matter how wonderfully well designed.Wire transfer fraud recovery is difficult but possible. .
YOUTUBE LIVE STREAM
This is a fairly new technique used by scammers to keep cryptocurrency giveaways going. In this example, the scammers created a YouTube video using an old video stream from the CEO of a cryptocurrency exchange, overlaid with some details about the alleged giveaway. They also set up the video as a live stream so it looks like it’s happening now. Video descriptions often contain the address of the “official” giveaway, or a link to his website containing the giveaway address. Additionally, scammers lure fake viewers into videos to make it look like they have thousands of viewers at the moment. Don’t fall for this scam.
GIFT SCAM EMAIL
The final example is trying to advertise a giveaway scam via email. In the email, the scammers try to convince the recipient that Coinbase is hosting a giveaway to celebrate the user’s signup milestone. As mentioned above, Coinbase runs sweepstakes from time to time, but we never ask you to send us your crypto to receive it. Before going through the signup process, make sure the email is actually from your Coinbase email.
PROTECTING YOUR INVESTMENTS AND YOUR FELLOW INVESTORS
Now that you’ve learned about the latest tactics used by freebie scammers, remember his two simple rules to avoid scams like this in the future. You might think it sounds too good to be true, and it almost certainly is.
Think twice before sending money. All cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible and you cannot get your money back. If you come across a giveaway scam like the one above, please take a moment to help protect the wider cryptocurrency community by reporting the scam to Coinbase or directly on Twitter, YouTube, or Google.
Ignore requests for cryptocurrency private keys. These keys control access to crypto and wallets, and no one needs them for legitimate cryptocurrency transactions. Ignore promises that you will make a lot of money.
Ignore investment managers who contact you and say they can grow your money rapidly.Ignore Celebrities – Celebrities don’t contact people to buy cryptocurrencies. If you use an online dating site or app, meet your romantic interest in person before handing money over. If you receive an email, text message, or social media message from a government, law enforcement agency, or utility company stating that your account or assets have been frozen and require virtual currency or money transfers, contact authorities.