A new wave of cryptocurrency scam has hit Instagram in Sweden, where a number of pages on Instagram are offering a series of valuable products from Gucci, Louis Vuitton and even Apple at spot prices between 50 euro to 300 euros.
The catch here is that users need to convert their fiat into cryptocurrency and transfer it to the seller. Once the users transfer the said amount in crypto, the advertisers vanish away with the money and the products are never delivered to the payee. The scams have continued even after several reportings to the law enforcement agencies.
The Scam is Largely Targeted at Youths and Migrants
After several cases of fraud has been reported to the law enforcement agencies, the Instagram targeted ads show a very peculiar pattern. Most of the targeted consumers are either youth under 25 or migrated workers looking to buy luxurious products at cheap rates.
The scammers usually create a new page on Instagram with a significant number of followers and once the customers send in the required funds, the scammers resort to old age techniques like telling the customers that they are facing issues in converting funds through different bank accounts and countries.
The scammers tell the customers that there is a long queue for the products as the prices are quite low and they need to send the funds quickly to lock their product, this urge of getting a valuable product at a very low price make the ignorant customers to quickly send in the required funds and as soon as the funds are released, the page vanishes.
These Instagram sellers usually contact their target customers through direct messages and once the funds have been transferred to their accounts they either stop responding to the messages or delete the page completely.
Law enforcement agencies believe that the users must be careful about their crypto transfers and verify every aspect of the seller offering their service in exchange for cryptocurrencies. Other reason for scammers using Instagram as the mode of operation because Instagram hardly has any customer support service. There are no-emails to report or contact someone from the company to flag-off an account in time. Thus, making it extremely easy for scammers to get away with their fraud.
Cryptocurrency related frauds have become a norm, and the decentralization and anonymity feature which are the major selling point for the cryptocurrencies turn out to be a foe in these circumstances. However, with new technology like crypto, one must be extra careful with their approach, especially over the internet.
Don’t trust any scheme or service which looks too good to be true, and never send your crypto holdings if the other party looks quite jittery in their approach and in a hurry to get your money.