COVID-19 and Cryptocurrency Scams: New Trends to Look Out for

Market Insights Sep 06, 2020

Scams exist for one reason and one reason only: because people out there do fall for them. Although the majority of us may think that we can easily spot a scam (which is, for the most part, true), there are some excellently crafted scams that cause us to fall into their trap, losing money or private information in the process. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic going on, scammers are not taking a break. So, what should you be on the look-out for?

A Rise in Phishing Scams

The initial impact of the Coronavirus was made clear in both the traditional market and the cryptocurrency market, which took its toll on crypto assets and developing cryptocurrency projects. While this hasn’t greatly impacted the usual crypto scams that you would see flood your inbox or pop up on your screen, this has led some scammers to change their tactics and use the COVID-19 pandemic to their advantage.

How? Rather than targeting users with new investment ideas, they may attempt to prevent themselves as major organizations looking to accept donations or sell important goods to users. They will then take the information that you’ve sent or the money that you’ve sent and run off with it. If they happen to get their hands on personal and private information, that can result in serious damage as well. Make sure to avoid any emails that look spammy and do your research when you get emails from certain people claiming to be from an organization.

An Interesting Twist on Blackmail

Blackmail scams are relatively straightforward, and you may have already received a few of them in the past. The two main scams that will often make their way into your inbox are either emails that tell you they have a hold of personal footage or information that they will release unless you pay them or that they have your password and will start taking control of your accounts unless you give them money. (This is not to be confused with ransomware, which is another thing entirely.)

Rather than going the traditional route, some scammers are stating that they have tested positive for COVID-19 and will start to spread it to someone’s family unless they receive payment to stop. As you may have already noticed, this scam is relatively transparent, but that hasn’t stopped people from sending out money, especially when it is requested in fiat currency rather than crypto.

The most important thing to remember when you are faced with any type of threat or offer is to evaluate its authenticity, watch out for signs of potential danger, and make sure that you act accordingly. Once you send your crypto to someone or enclose your personal information, you aren’t getting it back. As long as you avoid any of the new scams that are emerging and become more familiar with the ones that have established themselves as commonly used tactics, you should be safe moving forward!

Please contact Laurent at Trakx for additional questions.

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Gary Rebibo

CMO @Trakx