Trading in cryptocurrencies has increased to significant levels worldwide. Likewise, the level of crypto-crime. Reports of crypto-related and criminal fraud have been reported to authorities around the world.
In the UK, there were 8,801 reports of cryptocurrency to the UK Action Fraud Team in 2020, of which 8,131 were Bitcoin-related. That was a 24% increase from 2019. Similarly, the US generated over 73,000 more reports of cryptocurrency than the UK.
Social media is the primary vehicle for crypto scammers who can scam users and investors after sending Bitcoin or signing up for a fake exchange. In fact, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has received over 1,800 online fraud-related complaints. This resulted in losses of over $ 130 million in the United States alone.
Here is the latest addition to this category
Fraudsters stole $ 1.4 million through Bitcoin dating app fraud, the report said https://t.co/68wlzQ2HtR
– iMore (@iMore) October 14, 2021
Cyber security firm Sophos highlighted an insight into international cryptocurrency trading fraud targeting iPhone users through popular dating apps. According to Imore, cryptocurrency scammers have managed to “deceive unsuspecting victims totaling $ 1.4 million”.
They did this by “tricking them into downloading counterfeit cryptocurrency apps and investing money using Apple’s Developer Enterprise program to distribute”. Attackers have expanded from targeting people in Asia to users in the US and Europe. The report noted.
“We also identified more uses associated with the scam campaign – which we named CryptoRom for its combination of romance scams and cryptocurrency trading scams.”
After further research, the scammers behind this app targeted iOS users using Apple’s ad hoc distribution method through distribution operations known as “Super Signature Services”. Sophos continued to conclude
“One of the victims shared the Bitcoin address it sent its money to, and when we verified it at the time of writing, it has sent over $ 1.39 million to date. This shows the scale of this scam and how much money scammers are making from vulnerable users. This is just a bitcoin address, the tip of the iceberg. There could be several, with millions being lost. “
This is how the said scam actually works:
Earlier this year, in May, a similar scam stole large sums of money from Asian users of both iOS and Android. This time around, however, the losses are far greater for those who wanted to invest in digital currencies. Meanwhile, various victims have shared their stories in the illegal scam mentioned above. The report also mentioned
“We learned from news reports that one victim lost £ 63,000 (~ $ 87,000). In the UK, there are additional news reports of these scams, with one victim losing £ 35,000 (~ $ 45,000) to a scammer who contacted them through Facebook and another who lost £ 20,000 ($ 25,000) after someone cheated on them who had contact through Grindr. ”