Fake giveaways and Steve Wozniak
One of the popular cryptocurrency fraud schemes is fake digital coin giveaways. Attackers are taking advantage of the fact that many people want to get cryptocurrency for free. In social networks, forums and other sources of information, scammers post announcements that they are ready to double the amount that the investor will send to their wallet. However, they do not send back the cryptocurrency.
In 2020, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was involved in such a fraudulent scheme. Scammers used his name to attract victims. The attackers posted videos on YouTube in which they convinced users to send cryptocurrency to a specific address, promising to send twice as much in return.
The businessman filed a lawsuit against YouTube, but his claim was dismissed with reference to US federal law, according to which Internet platforms are not responsible for content posted by users. The scammers also used the names of other famous personalities: Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Michael Dell.
In 2020, the police accused the 17-year-old of conducting one of the largest attacks on the social network Twitter and gaining access to the accounts of Elon Musk, Bill Gates and other celebrities. Using the accounts of businessmen, the fraudster implemented a similar scheme, promising users to double their funds. A year later he hacked into private email account of famous American actor Ashton Kutcher after being tipped off about his latest business venture. An online drug trafficking ring that operated under the name “Bitpimp” from 2009 to 2012 gained $4 million in profits through fake reviews for drugs at Amazon.com before it was busted by prosecutors over allegations it made false claims or deceived customers with illegal purchases. Prosecutors said BitPimps were selling these products using fraudulent customer support pages but provided no evidence beyond statements they had used Facebook’s free tools (some claimed sales figures did not include taxes). The FBI launched an investigation when investigators noticed several post.
Over the past few years, the number of cryptocurrency wallets, exchanges, exchangers and other services has increased significantly. Fraudsters use this to create their own exchange offices that are not engaged in exchanging, but stealing funds. Users are attracted to such sites with the help of supposedly closed information about what can be earned here on fluctuations in exchange rates.
Usually attackers describe this scheme as “rubles – cryptocurrency – rubles”. They promise the user a profit after buying digital coins in a real exchanger with their subsequent resale on a fraudulent platform. Real exchange platforms in such schemes are used to increase trust.
The essence of the scheme is that the user buys cryptocurrency for rubles on a real platform. Then he turns to the scam platform, since they offer a very favorable exchange rate for cryptocurrency to rubles. But there is no exchange. As soon as a user sends funds to a fake exchanger, he loses them. So using stolen currency becomes easier through increasing numbers: it only takes seconds until users begin losing money from hacked machines, sometimes even faster than normal withdrawal delays caused by an irregular network communication between financial institutions. The value of virtual currencies depends mostly upon market price or speculators’ expectations regarding future demand; thus some legitimate markets may look better today while others will disappear shortly thereafter. In general, frauds who gain control over “fake” systems pose more of business risk because people lose faith when things go wrong behind-the time — often causing economic losses like unemployment, bank accounts closures which later turn out expensive ones (“boomers,” say news agencies).