Last month, there were multiple reports that warned people of online scams that aim to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cybercriminals use topics such as stimulus checks, coronavirus vaccines, and more to lure victims into giving out personal or banking information. These individuals are taking advantage of the fact that more people are staying indoors and connected online. Now, it seems that the blockchain market was likewise targeted since the start year with an estimated $24 million in cryptocurrency stolen which is a substantial amount.
This was reported by Scam Alert alongside Whale Alert (a Twitter bot that tracks and analyses blockchain transactions) via its new "crime reporting, tracking and analysis" platform. Given the comprehensive verification process used by digital cryptocurrency, every transaction ideally leaves a paper trail that can be tracked with the right tools.
Longtime cryptocurrency investors will find it upsetting that over the past four years about $38 million in bitcoin was stolen. However, it is alarming to learn that $24 million of these were done since the start of 2020, according to Medium. One of these scams allegedly made more than $130,000 a day with "nothing more than a one-page website, a bitcoin address and a decent amount of YouTube advertising."
Other operations that were pointed out by the tracking service involve the use of celebrities such as Elon Musk. These are estimated to net close to $300,000 per transaction. In April, a similar scam was flagged by authorities using the names of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to trick cryptocurrency investors.
It also posted: "The change in method and the increase in quality and scale suggests that entire professional teams are now behind some of the most successful ones and it is just a matter of time before they start using deepfakes, a technique that will surely revolutionize the scam market."
Amid the current health crisis, economies have been devasted by the 2019 novel coronavirus. As governments pump more money into the system in an effort to help businesses, investors have turned to cryptocurrency to avoid inflation. Bitcoin appears to be more stable than traditional markets, which is why many have opted to shift to blockchain platforms over the years.