Beware of the new crypto scams floating around

Aside from all the problems that regularly arise in the cryptocurrency space, there are also many crooks willing to rip people off of the coins they are holding, no matter how much the value has fallen.

The line of intrusions, exploits and scams is endless. Plus, no matter how much someone like Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (DN.Y.) says in an interview with Bloomberg Technology, “The interesting nature of blockchain technology is that it’s 100% transparent, so if you want to trace who’s buying or sold something through cryptocurrency, you can do that pretty easily,” you can’t. Having an online address is not the same as having someone’s identity.

It’s up to the consumer – meaning you – to be careful and to know when something smells foul and needs to be wrapped in old newspaper and tossed in the trash.

But as is the case with the technology, the fraudulent use continues to ramp up, according to a foreclosure order filed by the US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. The Defendant: “About 40.997711 ethersETH
eum digital currency.”

The complaint states, “PM is located in Orange County, California and does business in the Central District of California. PM controls an investment vehicle that invests in digital currencies, including Ethereum.”

So, there is an Ethereum cryptocurrency owner whose identity is protected and who manages a cryptocurrency wallet with Coinbase.

“On or about December 21, 2021, the victim PM received a pop-up message identifying an error when attempting to log into the victim’s account held at Coinbase on his laptop,” the complaint continues. “The pop-up message said, ‘Due to recent activity, your account has been suspended. Please contact our support team at +1-810-420-8046 to unlock account restrictions.’ PM called the identified phone number and was put through to someone pretending to be a Coinbase representative. The single Prime Minister spoken to identified himself as Ankit Anwaral (“Ankit”). Ankit knew PM’s credentials and PM’s current location. Ankit explained to PM that in order to authenticate his information, PM had to transfer his cryptocurrency balance from his Coinbase account to a Coinbase Pro account, which was a more sophisticated account designed for investment professionals. Ankit instructed PM to download a remote desktop application called “Anydesk” onto his laptop so Ankit can remotely control PM’s computer. After PM did this, unknown people started transferring funds from PM. Shortly after, PM noticed that 40.997711 Ethereum, worth $165,145.40 at the time, had been transferred from the victim’s account. Due to Ankit’s misrepresentation, PM did not realize he had been scammed until all content was transferred from the victim’s account.”

The cryptocurrency then “went through numerous transfers before being reassembled in other wallets to hide the corrupt source.” (Even if someone says that all blockchain activity is “transparent” and that people’s identities can be easily discovered, you can ignore the person as someone who knows far less than they think.)

“What struck me about this was that I was struck by the fact that the DOJ filed such a civil enforcement action,” says Tal J. Lifshitz, partner in Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton’s complex litigation division and co-chair of cryptocurrency, the company’s digital asset and blockchain group. He adds that “in 999 cases out of 1,000,” the Justice Department’s response to someone filing a complaint would be, “We understand that you, Mr. Victim, have been scammed, but it’s your own fault.”

But there’s a federal lawsuit instead, very likely because the person who was cheated is well connected.

Often people are fooled by scams that take advantage of fear or greed. There is usually a red flag. Providing a phone number to call is one of them. They always call the company’s main number and ask to be put through to the person or something like a scam department.

However, in this case, the scammer had some vital information about the victim. Was it malware that was on the person’s computer and provided convincing data? Some sort of intrusion into Coinbase’s systems? Maybe it was some other kind of mechanism.

Whatever it was, legitimate companies won’t have anyone online giving you a phone number to call because it smells too much like a scam.

Be aware that there are people who won’t blink twice when they’re trying to trick you into doing something stupid when there’s potentially a lot of money changing hands. Take the time to do the basics e.g. B. Calling the company on an independently provided number and asking questions. Anyone trying to push you beyond speed into intelligent reasoning is someone you cannot trust.

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