Crypto related crimes and scams are rising following the rise in the price of cryptocurrencies. Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world recently addressed the issue by launching an academy program to spread awareness about the sudden surge in crypto thefts.
In a report they published, Binance pointed out the practice of sim swapping as one of the chief methods of hacking.
A cybercriminal could gain access to the user’s phone number by employing social engineering techniques to trick mobile phone operators into issuing a new SIM card to hackers. An instance was mentioned the case of Michael Terpin, a cryptocurrency entrepreneur who had claimed that due to AT&T’s negligence in handling his phone credentials he lost all his token, valued at over $20 million. The report stated:
“Once cybercriminals have gained access to your phone number, they can use it to bypass any 2FA that relies on that. From there, they can work their way into your cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges.”
Andreas Antonopoulos, a Bitcoin proponent also complained about the recent rise in scamming tactics. He said:
“Just FYI: The ICO, IEO, “influencer marketing”, endorsement, “advisor” etc emails and DMs have started flooding in again. People are offering me (and many others) $25k to $250k for endorsement, review, tweets etc. I say no, many say yes.
SCAMS are coming. Be careful.”
There are fraudulent websites which claim to double the crypto or ask the users to invest in crypto and let them trade on behalf of them and most of the times, such traders flee the market. Antonopoulos asked the newcomer as well as others in the space to:
“Please educate your friends and family:
– Promises of profit are 100% ponzi
– Request to “recruit”, “affiliate” etc are 100% pyramid schemes
– ICO/IEO are 99.99% pump-and-dump”
Along with the proponents, the media websites reporting on crypto have also received messages and requests to promote a coin or an ICO, however, they have informed the community about the reality of these handles and asked the community to be more vigilant.