Fraudulent schemes with fake Bitcoin investments linked to Russia and Ukraine

How often do you see spam on Twitter about celebrity “free” cryptocurrency giveaways and other similar schemes involving blockchain assets?

According to a report by The Guardian Australia, numerous scam campaigns using images of Australian celebrities such as Dick Smith, Chris Hemsworth, David Koch and Walid Ali are part of a «highly organized global business.» Moreover, the latter is allegedly associated with Russia and Ukraine. We tell you what is happening and how not to fall for the bait of scammers.

Recall that messages about fake ways to «earn» cryptocurrency are really very common on Twitter. On this social platform, scammers promise to double the amount of coins sent, hiding behind some kind of joyful event in a famous company or a famous person. Especially popular for this is the head of Tesla, Elon Musk, who allegedly distributes thousands of bitcoins almost every day.

Naturally, any such requests are fraudulent. After the funds are sent, victims never see them.

Cheating in the cryptocurrency niche

The scammers allegedly target Australian cryptocurrency enthusiasts and use fake local celebrity profiles to lure more victims into their networks, sources say. Although their working methods differ, the essence of such scams remains the same. It is reported that attackers buy hundreds of thousands of advertisements from Google and use them to redirect potential victims from legitimate platforms to fake websites with “fake news”.

To make matters worse, sites that participate in Google advertising campaigns often have no control over which banners appear on their platform. And even the media giant itself has difficulty tracking down and blocking malicious ads due to the sheer scale of cybercriminals.

After being redirected to a fake website, users are usually asked to provide their login information, after which they are called with a request to make a first investment of about $ 250. Under the guise of an imaginary «winning» investment scheme, they manage to lure much more money out of some victims.

Note that the essence of deception is always approximately the same. The most common fraudulent schemes involve fully automated miracle traders who «harness the potential of artificial intelligence» and can «guess profitable cryptocurrency investments» with incredible accuracy. That is, gullible readers are told about a program that makes money for them around the clock, and does it quite successfully. The program itself is free and, in addition, does not take commissions for transactions.

However, to start the work, users are asked to enter a deposit in the amount of the equivalent of several hundred dollars, which supposedly will participate in trading. In fact, this money is immediately sent to fraudsters, and it is impossible to withdraw it – when victims try, they are usually asked to go through identity verification procedures and other deterrent operations. As a result, from the outside, all this is a simple transfer of funds to bad people who hide behind the popular topic of cryptocurrencies.

Afraid of losing your money? Don’t click on suspicious ads

The situation was commented on by David Lacey, managing director of the benevolent platform for victims of fraud IDCare. Here is a quote from Decrypt.

This is becoming more common. Some people even lose all of their savings due to such scams. For example, in Germany, Boris Becker a famous tennis player promotes crypto investments with very “favorable terms”. The real Becker, of course, does not know about this, but scammers actively use his personality.

To avoid blocking by Google, scammers use third-party companies to host their websites. At the same time, The Guardian managed to find five names of people who registered hundreds of such fake sites associated with Moscow. According to Australian cybersecurity expert Gabor Szatmari, there may also be a potential link to Ukraine.

In any case, do not forget that «free cheese is only in a mousetrap.» In the world of cryptocurrencies, no one can guarantee a completely successful scheme for making money on investments, and if they do, then most likely you are in front of scammers. We advise you to ignore such offers with suspiciously high profitability. It happens in the niche of blockchain assets, but usually everyone knows about it. An example of this is the boom of tokens from the decentralized finance niche this summer. However, even on it, many people lost money, because they did not have time to fix their profits in time.

We believe that such fraudulent projects involving «automated traders» also damage the reputation of real cryptocurrencies. Alas, it is unlikely that anything can be done about this, since the scale of the niche of deception is too large, and there will be more and more gullible newcomers against the background of the growth of Bitcoin. So here it remains to avoid falling into the clutches of scammers and warn less experienced friends about the existence of such schemes.

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