Beware of the new floating crypto scam

Along with all the problems that regularly pop up in the cryptocurrency space, there are also many scammers out there willing to relieve people of the coins they hold, no matter how low in value.

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The series of intrusions, exploits and scams is endless. Also, no matter how much someone like Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (DN.Y.) states in an interview with Bloomberg Technology that “the interesting nature of blockchain technology is that it’s one hundred percent transparent, so if you want to know who bought or sold something using cryptocurrency, you can do it quite easily “, you can’t. Having an online address is not the same as having someone’s identity.

It is up to the consumer – that is, you – to be careful and know when something might smell like fish and needs to be wrapped in old newspapers and thrown in the trash.

But as with technology, its fraudulent use also continues to grow, as evidenced by a lawsuit filed by the United States Attorney for the Central District of California. Defendant: “About 40.997711 Ether
ET
um the digital currency.

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

Hence, there is an Ethereum cryptocurrency owner, whose identity is protected, who has maintained a cryptocurrency wallet with Coinbase.

“Around December 21, 2021, the victim, PM, received a pop-up message identifying an error while trying to access the victim’s account held on Coinbase on his laptop,” the complaint continues. “The pop-up message said: ‘Due to recent activity, your account has been blocked. Contact our support team at + 1-810-420-8046 to remove account restrictions. ‘ PM called the identified phone number and was linked to someone claiming to be a Coinbase representative. The PM interviewed identified himself as Ankit Anwaral (“Ankit”). Ankit knew PM’s login information and PM’s current location. Ankit told PM that in order to authenticate his information, PM needed 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 to allow Ankit to remotely control PM’s computer. Once that was done, the outsiders started transferring PM’s funds. Soon after, PM noticed that 40.997711 Ethereum, which was worth $ 165,145.40 at the time, had been transferred from the victim’s account. Due to Ankit’s misrepresentation, PM didn’t realize he was scammed until the entire content was transferred from the victim’s account.

The cryptocurrency then underwent “numerous transfers before being reassembled into other wallets to hide the corrupt source”. (Again, when someone says that all blockchain activity is “transparent” and people’s identities are easily identifiable, you can dismiss the individual as someone who knows a lot less than you think.)

“What struck me about this is that I was struck by the fact that the Justice Department filed such civil action,” says Tal J. Lifshitz, partner in the complex litigation department of Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton and co. -president of Cryptocurrency, Digital Asset and Blockchain Group. He adds that “999 times out of a thousand” the Justice Department’s response to someone filing a complaint would be: “We understand that you, Mr. Victim, have been the victim of fraud, but this is your fault.”

But there is a federal lawsuit instead, most likely because the person who was scammed has a good connection.

Typically, people are fooled by scams that exploit fear or greed. There is usually a red flag. Giving a phone number to call is one of them. Always call the main number of the company and ask to be transferred to the person or something like an anti-fraud department.

However, in this case, the scammer had important information about the victim. Was it malware sitting on the person’s computer and providing convincing data? Some sort of penetration of Coinbase systems? Maybe it was another kind of mechanism.

Either way, reputable companies won’t have someone online giving you a phone number to call because it sounds too much like a scam.

Know that when there is a lot of money to change hands, there are people who don’t blink twice before trying to confuse you by doing something stupid to you. Take your time to do the basics, how to call the company via an independently provided number, ask questions. Anyone who tries to push you beyond speed into considering smart is a person who cannot be trusted.

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