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Cryptocurrencies are all the rage right now, and bitcoin is breaking its own exchange rate records on an almost daily basis. Buy now and become twice as rich tomorrow. Or twice as poor. It's in the lap of the gods.
Naturally, scammers couldn't pass by those seeing their fortune in the new “Klondike”. For starters, they set up a Telegram group.
At a specific time, group members receive information about the cryptocurrency that is being "pumped" along with a link to a site where they should start buying it.
Because a single group may have over 14,000 members, cross promotion is used to draw in as many as 60,000 people to participate in the scheme. As a result, the currency's exchange rate begins to rise.
When that happens, other users are notified that the currency is going up and that they should buy it. Of course, the group’s members not only buy the currency but also arouse would-be victims' interest by claiming long-term growth is expected and that they have already profited.
Victims are encouraged to buy the currency from the scammers at a higher rate. As a rule, reselling the currency makes its exchange rate drop, often to a rate that is even lower than when the scam started. But the traders who "dumped" their coins couldn't care less.
In the course of its investigation, Business Insider observed five scams of this sort in Telegram, but, judging by the frequency with which the scams are advertised, the publication believes the actual number of fraud schemes is much higher. The observed scams involve the cryptocurrencies UBQ, VCash, Chill Coin, Magi Coin and Indorse. All the scams were carried out on Las Vegas-based Bittrex or on the Russian exchange Yobit.
Can the scammers be punished? Here's what the news post’s author thinks:
Cryptocurrency exchanges and markets are unregulated in most parts of the world, and so these activities are not illegal.
- As a rule, new technologies go through a period of growth and popularity. For example, does the word "intranet" mean anything to you? Meanwhile, there was a time when it was a trending topic too.
- Don't believe recommendations from complete strangers, especially if you receive them via a messaging service that guarantees their anonymity. No one will take responsibility for anything posted via a messenger.
- Because no effective legislation exists to regulate activities involving cryptocurrencies, the scammers can’t be held accountable for their actions.
- Anti-virus security has long extended beyond providing protection only from malware. Nowadays, Internet Security solutions can also be configured to restrict access to sites that fall within certain categories. If you come across a rogue site that is not yet on Dr.Web's list, contact us and we will add it to Dr.Web Parental Control's blacklist.