Beware of new floating crypto scam

Along with all the problems that regularly appear in the cryptocurrency space, there are also plenty of scammers out there willing to relieve people of the coins they hold no matter how low in value.

The series of break-ins, exploits and scams is endless. Also, no matter how much someone like Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (DN.Y.) says in an interview with Bloomberg Technology that “the interesting nature of blockchain technology is that it’s one hundred percent transparent, so if you want to know who bought or sold something using cryptocurrency, you can do that pretty easily”, you can’t. Having an online address is not the same as having someone’s identity. a.

It is up to the consumer, i.e. you, to be careful and know when something might smell fishy and need to be wrapped in old newspapers and thrown in the trash.

But as happens with technology, its fraudulent use also continues to grow, as evidenced by a forfeiture case filed by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. Defendant: “About 40.997711 Ether
um the digital currency.

As the complaint states, “PM is a resident of and does business in Orange County, California, in the Central District of California. PM controls an investment vehicle that invests in digital currencies, including Ethereum.

So, there is an Ethereum cryptocurrency owner, whose identity is protected, who maintained a cryptocurrency wallet with Coinbase.

“On or about December 21, 2021, the victim, PM, received a pop-up message identifying an error while attempting to log in to the victim’s account held on Coinbase on his laptop,” the complaint continues. “The pop-up message read: ‘Due to recent activity, your account has been locked. Please contact our support team at +1-810-420-8046 to remove account restrictions.’ PM called the identified phone number and was connected to a person claiming to be a representative of Coinbase. The individual PM spoke to identified himself as Ankit Anwaral (“Ankit”). Ankit knew the PM’s login details and PM’s current location Ankit told PM that to authenticate his details, PM needed to transfer his cryptocurrency balance from his Coinbase account to a Coinbase Pro account, which was a more sophisticated account designed for investment professionals. Ankit asked PM to download a remote desktop application called “Anydesk” onto his laptop to allow Ankit to remotely control PM’s computer. did, strangers started transferring PM’s funds. Soon after, PM noticed that 40.997711 Ethereum, worth $165,145.40 at the time, had been transferred out of PM’s account. the victim. Due to the false larations from Ankit, PM didn’t realize he had been defrauded until the entire content was transferred out of the victim’s account.

The cryptocurrency then underwent “numerous transfers before being reassembled in other wallets in order to conceal the corrupt source”. (Again, when someone says that all blockchain activity is “transparent” and people’s identities are easily discovered, you can dismiss the individual as someone who knows much less than he doesn’t think so.)

“What struck me about this was that I was impressed that the DOJ was pursuing such a civil action,” says Tal J. Lifshitz, Partner in the Complex Litigation Department at Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton. and co-chairman of the firm’s Cryptocurrency, Digital Assets and Blockchain Group. He adds that “999 times out of a thousand” the Department of Justice’s response to someone filing a complaint would be: “We understand that you, Mr. Victim, have been the victim of fraud, but this is your fault”.

But there’s a federal lawsuit instead, most likely because the person who was defrauded has a good connection.

Generally, people are duped by scams that exploit fear or greed. There is usually a red flag. Giving a phone number to call is one of them. You always call the main number for the company and ask to be transferred to the person or something like a fraud department.

However, in this case, the fraudster had important information about the victim. Was it malware that was on the person’s computer and provided compelling data? Some kind of penetration of Coinbase systems? Maybe it was another type of mechanism.

Either way, reputable companies won’t have someone online to give you a phone number to call because it sounds too much like a scam.

Know that when there is a lot of money that could change hands, there are people who won’t blink twice before trying to confuse you into doing something stupid. Take your time to do the basics, like calling the company through an independently provided number, asking questions. Anyone who tries to push you beyond speed into intelligent consideration is a person not to be trusted.

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