Crypto scams have increased by quadruple digits from October 2020 to June 2021. As reported to CBS News, there has been a 1,000% rise in crypto scams of all types, particularly social media imposter frauds. There are many reasons for this trend. People spending more time online due to social distancing has made them more curious about cryptocurrencies.
Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic left many people without work and led to feelings of financial insecurity. This made more consumers vulnerable to fake get rich quick schemes, such as forex trading scams and crypto scams.
All of these may be contributing factors, but one motivating element to crypto scams is the belief that cryptocurrency is fully anonymous and can’t be traced to users. This is true in most cases and it is also true that all transactions are recorded, but with codes instead of names.
However, what scammers and consumers may not realize is that law enforcement often cooperates with companies and experts to track down those behind crypto scams and has been increasingly successful in catching some high-profile cybercriminals.
Crypto scams are out to take your money, but Scam Survivor will protect you and help you make a successful claim. Our professionals consult with people who have been affected by crypto scams and forex trading scams. We have the solutions that will help you succeed in your case.
A Tale of Two Crypto Scams: The Twitter Hack and Colonial Pipeline Ransomware Attack
Two of the most shocking crypto scams that occurred in 2020-2021 are the Twitter hacking scam and the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack. What they had in common was that they were crypto scams committed by people who didn’t seem to think their bitcoin transactions could not be traced.
The other common thread is that they affected major companies as well as celebrities and public figures. The third similarity is that the FBI has tracked down the scammers and has shown some degree of success in fund recovery.
In 2020, Twitter was hacked by Graham Clark, who was the mastermind and only 17, along with Mason Sheppard, 19, and Namu Fazeli, 22. Following the hack, Clark and his accomplices gained access to 100 accounts of high-profile users, such as Barack Obama and Elon Musk.
They offered users a chance to double their bitcoin in just a few hours without any information on how the money would be made. They attempted to simply make off with the money, but Twitter and Coinbase shut them down first before involving the FBI.
Like many cybercriminals, Graham Clark started small, got away with lesser crimes, and then came up with bigger plans. Ironically, Clark made less money from the elaborate Twitter scam than he did on some of his earlier frauds. Clark began ripping people off on Minecraft and offered gaming products in exchange for bitcoin. He never delivered these items and made off with the cryptocurrency.
Clark was then suspected of involvement with a crypto scam that stole $385,000 from consumers but he was not charged. The Twitter scam involved two phases. Clark and his partners in crime used social engineering to pretend to be from Twitter’s IT department. They requested access to employees who were working remotely to their VPNs. From this access, they were able to hack into celebrity accounts.
The second part of this crime was the crypto scam which used the identities of public figures to offer a “double your money” bitcoin scam. In just a few hours, the scammers were able to steal $115,0000 from users and would have robbed much more if they were not stopped by Coinbase and Twitter.
The scammers who attacked the Colonial Pipeline with ransomware also seemed to think they were invincible. In a controversial move, the ransom of $4.4 million in bitcoin was paid to cyber criminals. People were upset at this decision because they felt there was no way the money could be retrieved.
However, in just a few weeks following the crisis, the FBI managed to recover $2.7 million of the $4.4 million and is still working on the case.
How the FBI Identifies Crypto Scam Artists: Technology and Cooperation
Stories of fund recovery from crypto scams are becoming more common, not only in high-profile cases but for individuals. Although advanced technology is often required to uncover crypto scams, some of the success is due to the authority of law enforcement and the cooperation of companies.
The FBI managed to trace the identities of the Twitter hackers with the help of Coinbase and Twitter shutting down the scam and tracing communication. Working together with the FBI, the three hackers were caught and are facing 30 felony charges in Florida.
In the Colonial Pipeline incident, the FBI was allowed access to the bitcoin wallet and obtained a court order to get the bitcoin codes. With the codes and IP addresses, they were able to find the cybercriminals and start with fund recovery.
What to Do If You Have Been Targeted by a Crypto Scam
If you have been the victim of a crypto scam, do not give up hope. As is seen in the above examples, the FBI, Interpol, and other law enforcement agencies are able to uncover crypto scams with the help of information from companies and individuals.
Getting assistance from fund recovery agencies can help this process go more quickly and smoothly and can increase your chances for success. If you have been targeted by a crypto scam, speak to fund recovery professionals who can guide you every step of the way.
Are You Looking for a Reliable Fund Recovery Service? Talk to Scam Survivor
If you have been affected by a crypto scam or a forex trading scam, talk to us. The Scam Survivor team has vast experience investigating fraud and aiding clients with their complaints. Our strong working relationship with regulators, authorities and financial services gives you a decisive advantage and helps you in your pursuit of fund recovery.