Cybercriminals have robbed unsuspecting victims of about $9 million. All of these happened in October, luring victims in with non-existent giveaways on YouTube. In a bid to cover their tracks, these criminals collected payment from their victims in cryptocurrency.
Cybercriminals on The Prowl
Cybercriminals keep finding new ways to take advantage of the crypto industry and unsuspecting victims. Investigations have revealed that cybercriminals now edit videos of icons in the cryptocurrency space and use these edited videos to publicize non-existent giveaways. Tenable came up with these conclusions after a thorough investigation.
The investigation showed that the culprits have made away with at least $9 million. They have achieved this by promoting fraudulent giveaways on tokens ranging from Bitcoin to popular altcoins and even meme coins. The fraudsters have a pattern of using old, interview-style videos of these popular cryptocurrency celebrities. The criminals attach tweets In the description of these videos promising these fraudulent giveaways.
In addition to the above, the criminals place a pinned comment on the video, promising the user a 100% return on their payment in cryptocurrency. The report by the company breaks down how the loot is split across different cryptocurrencies. The culprits made more than $8 million in Bitcoin cons, with about $400k from faked Ethereum giveaways.
The bounty didn’t end there. The scammers also cashed in on the retail-driven frenzy around popular meme coin Shiba Inu. The fraudsters made away with over $200k in Shiba Inu.
Tenable’s report also added that cybercriminals sometimes take advantage of news events or trends. There was an instance where the scammers built a scam around Elon Musk’s appearance on The Saturday Night Live show. The scammers created fake giveaway scenarios around it and made millions of dollars within the period. Cryptocurrency scams are on the rise, and this is just one of the many formats.
Cryptocurrency Scams On The Rise
The rise of the emerging market has not gone unnoticed by criminal elements. The proliferation and variety of these crimes can make it difficult to track sometimes. Hatim Mursi disclosed that he lost over $500k to crypto investment scams which made up his life savings.
Mursi expressed that it was a very traumatizing experience that left him feeling helpless. He believes there is no hope of the funds being recovered. Hatim, who is a resident of Fort Lauderdale, said that it began with a WhatsApp conversation. The person seemed to have messaged him by accident.
He said he and the person built an online friendship of sorts and discussed a wide variety of topics. He said the scammer made him feel smart and considerate. Eventually, the scammer raised the subject of cryptocurrencies.
Hatim Mursi revealed that he had not invested in cryptocurrencies before then. The scammer at first pointed him in the direction of legitimate cryptocurrency platforms, where he went ahead to open accounts. She later introduced him to a start-up that was about to launch its cryptocurrency.
Hatim looked up the site and felt it looked good, and decided to fund the platform from Binance.US. The fact that the transaction was allowed made him feel safe, and over time, he kept sending more funds. He ended up losing all his money. About a hundred similar complaints have made their way to the Attorney Generals’ desk in Florida in October.