Scams have become the easiest way for cybercriminals to steal millions of dollars from unsuspecting victims online due to the complexity of hacking. After JPEX and other exchanges put the necessary security encryptions in place which has made it difficult for third parties to break into our trading platforms, they have resorted to creating their own exchanges and applications.
On Monday, October 3, the Miami Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in partnership with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) warned the global crypto industry of investment schemes involving cryptocurrencies called Pig Butchering. This is an old scheme that has been revitalized in the past 12 months due to its high-level sophistication.
In Pig Butchering, fraudsters pose as highly successful crypto traders who have made essential gains from investing in digital assets. They use social media platforms or dating applications to entice unsuspecting victims to make investments into certain pools with a promise of high returns after gaining the person’s trust.
To make victims believe they are genuine, they create a website that allows victims to track the progress of their crypto investments. After a given period where a victim is satisfied with his or her level of investment, withdrawal requests are initiated. After the order is placed, the victim is asked to pay income taxes or additional fees which they duly oblige to due to the huge sum of money which appears on the dashboard of the account created for them by cybercriminals. After the second payment is made, fraudsters take off by closing the fake website and cease contact with victims.
According to Federal Trade Commission (FTC), from the beginning of 2021 through to March 2022, more than 46,000 people have reported losing more than $1 billion to crypto scams. Out of this, around $575 million were investment-related fraud, $185 million came from romance scams, another $93 million emanated from business imposters, and $40 million were gotten from government imposters. Pig Butchering continues to become popular and around $429 million was stolen by scammers using this type of scam in 2021, according to data from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
The FBI and IC3 reported that many victims were asked to purchase large amounts of prepaid cards or make overseas wire transfers. Due to the complexities associated with cryptocurrencies, more especially, the untraceable nature of transfers, the use of crypto assets as well as crypto ATMs have become one of the emerging methods for scammers.
JPEX Shares FBI’s Potential Methods to Recognize and Deter Scam
Firstly, if you come across any unsolicited investment proposals, you must verify the validity of such an opportunity, especially if it is coming from a social media application.
Secondly, become your own police by looking out for domain names that impersonate legitimate institutions operating under the crypto banner, especially cryptocurrency exchanges.
Moreover, fraudsters normally alter the uniform resource location (URL) of credible exchanges to lure unsophisticated traders (those who do not conduct any research or do not know much about the industry) to their websites, so beware. A great example of this can be attributed to our exchange which is called JPEX and it’s written in URL as jp-ex.io. Since dot com (.com), dot eu (.eu), and others are extremely common, fraudsters can entice people to visit a fake crypto exchange website called jpex.com, jpex.eu, or others. We encourage our customers to do their own research before entrusting their funds to shadowy figures.
Also, avoid downloading or using suspicious applications. Thanks to Google Play and Apple Play Stores, there are millions of applications on smart devices. With that said, despite the legitimacy of others, many of them were created with malicious programs which download personal data or compromise sensitive accounts related to your finances. To put it simply, verify all applications before using them.
Lastly, refrain from get-rich-quick schemes. The global economic meltdown brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic which was followed by a significant increase in commodity prices buoyed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this year has made it difficult for millions to improve their standard of living. Scammers have taken advantage of difficult times and use social media applications such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Telegram to lure people and take billions of dollars away from them. If an investment pays above the normal annual percentage yields (APYs) being offered by more than 90% of well-regulated exchanges, you should know it is a scam.
Do not provide copies of your identification, passport, social security number, or banking information to anyone or a website you do NOT know is legitimate.