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Bitcoin Scams: Singaporeans Losing Thousands of Dollars to Crypto Fraudsters

Singapore authorities recent report that residents have lost about $78,000 to fraudulent online platforms in three months.

Online Cryptocurrency Scam Using Fake Personalities

The Straits Times reports that Singapore residents have fallen victim to some online Bitcoin scams in a couple of months, losing up to $78,000 between September and November 2018. The police claimed that unsuspecting Singaporeans were the target of these investment scams.

The authorities stated that these scams came in the form on paid online ads and had pictures of famous Singaporean celebrities/personalities. These personalities are portrayed as endorsing the use of virtual currency such as Bitcoin and how they have profited by investing in cryptocurrency.

Unsuspecting Singapore investors who can’t see right through the faux go ahead to click on the suspicious links and further directed to another website. The new website would then show investments in digital currency. The scam sites always have a “representative” who contacts victims that provide personal details on their websites.

According to the police, these online cryptocurrency scam sites are foreign and do not have permission from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Victims and their investments at risk and fraudulent sites cannot be traced or verified. Investors would also have a hard time laying a complaint against such fraudulent schemes.

Authorities further stated that there was no regulatory framework for virtual currency and as such, no protection exists for investor funds. However, the police gave out its hotline and website for Singapore residents to contact, if they suspect online platforms of scam.

Cryptocurrency Scammers Use Online Platforms to Swindle Investors

Online cryptocurrency scammers using images of prominent personalities and celebrities, is nothing new. Most of these fraudulent websites and online platforms use these images, going as far as claiming that these personalities are cashing out big on Bitcoin investment. The investor who can’t tell its all fake, end up as victims.

The Singapore authorities back in September warned its citizens against two fake virtual currency websites showcasing the Prime Minister and his deputy. The internet scammers used both government officials to get Bitcoin investments from unsuspecting victims.

Also, Twitter has become a den for digital currency fraudsters who hack into accounts of personalities and announce elaborate giveaways. Well-known Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, is a victim of impersonation by cryptocurrency scammers on Twitter.

Recently, a group of hackers breached Twitter accounts of two British outlets and changed the profile picture and name to Elon Musk. The scammers further stated via tweets that “Elon Musk” was giving away 10,000 Bitcoin (BTC).

Furthermore, fraudsters hacked Twitter accounts belonging to Target and Google’s G Suite. For Target’s, scammers announced a 5,000 BTC while G Suite hackers tweeted a 10,000 BTC giveaway to all community.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

The post Bitcoin Scams: Singaporeans Losing Thousands of Dollars to Crypto Fraudsters appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Bitcoin Scams: Singaporeans Losing Thousands of Dollars to Crypto Fraudsters

Singapore authorities recent report that residents have lost about $78,000 to fraudulent online platforms in three months.

Online Cryptocurrency Scam Using Fake Personalities

The Straits Times reports that Singapore residents have fallen victim to some online Bitcoin scams in a couple of months, losing up to $78,000 between September and November 2018. The police claimed that unsuspecting Singaporeans were the target of these investment scams.

The authorities stated that these scams came in the form on paid online ads and had pictures of famous Singaporean celebrities/personalities. These personalities are portrayed as endorsing the use of virtual currency such as Bitcoin and how they have profited by investing in cryptocurrency.

Unsuspecting Singapore investors who can’t see right through the faux go ahead to click on the suspicious links and further directed to another website. The new website would then show investments in digital currency. The scam sites always have a “representative” who contacts victims that provide personal details on their websites.

According to the police, these online cryptocurrency scam sites are foreign and do not have permission from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Victims and their investments at risk and fraudulent sites cannot be traced or verified. Investors would also have a hard time laying a complaint against such fraudulent schemes.

Authorities further stated that there was no regulatory framework for virtual currency and as such, no protection exists for investor funds. However, the police gave out its hotline and website for Singapore residents to contact, if they suspect online platforms of scam.

Cryptocurrency Scammers Use Online Platforms to Swindle Investors

Online cryptocurrency scammers using images of prominent personalities and celebrities, is nothing new. Most of these fraudulent websites and online platforms use these images, going as far as claiming that these personalities are cashing out big on Bitcoin investment. The investor who can’t tell its all fake, end up as victims.

The Singapore authorities back in September warned its citizens against two fake virtual currency websites showcasing the Prime Minister and his deputy. The internet scammers used both government officials to get Bitcoin investments from unsuspecting victims.

Also, Twitter has become a den for digital currency fraudsters who hack into accounts of personalities and announce elaborate giveaways. Well-known Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, is a victim of impersonation by cryptocurrency scammers on Twitter.

Recently, a group of hackers breached Twitter accounts of two British outlets and changed the profile picture and name to Elon Musk. The scammers further stated via tweets that “Elon Musk” was giving away 10,000 Bitcoin (BTC).

Furthermore, fraudsters hacked Twitter accounts belonging to Target and Google’s G Suite. For Target’s, scammers announced a 5,000 BTC while G Suite hackers tweeted a 10,000 BTC giveaway to all community.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

The post Bitcoin Scams: Singaporeans Losing Thousands of Dollars to Crypto Fraudsters appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Bitcoin Scam: Fraudsters Buy 26 BTC Using Counterfeit Euro Bills in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, an individual has fallen victim to another Bitcoin scam using counterfeit currency notes. This case comes less than a fortnight after another similar high-profile occurred in South Korea involving a group of Serbian fraudsters and a South Korean businessman.

Details of the Bitcoin Scam

According to local Dutch media outlet, rtlnieuws.nl, a man has been duped to the tune of €180,000 by a group of fraudsters in Amsterdam. Police in the city says the victim was approached by the alleged scammers via an online forum to sell Bitcoin in exchange for Euros.

The Amsterdam Center-Burgwallen police further reported that both parties agreed to meet in a hotel. On the day of the transaction, the participants met at the hotel, and the deal went as planned. Both parties reviewed all the necessary documentation after which the exchange of 26 BTC for €180,000 was made.

However, the Bitcoin seller discovered that he had been paid using counterfeit Euro bills. Subsequent details of the matter are still sketchy, but it seems evident that the man in question was tricked into selling his BTC for fake bills.

Elaborate Bitcoin Scams Across the Globe

Earlier in the month, a South Korean businessman fell victim to a similar scam. The man in question, an owner of a Singapore-based cryptocurrency company, was approached by two Serbians looking to buy BTC from him.

As with the case of the Dutchman, the deal was completed in a hotel, this time in Nice, France. The victim also later discovered that he had been paid with counterfeit Euro bills as well. As at press time, one of the alleged perpetrators of the crime was in custody while his accomplice is still on the run.

With virtual currencies still a valuable commodity, there is no end to the multitude of elaborate scams and schemes concocted by fraudsters to dupe unsuspecting victims. These days, criminal elements hide under the anonymity of virtual coins to perpetrate crimes phony investment schemes, Ponzi schemes, etc.

What advice do you have for people to avoid being duped by such fraudulent schemes? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Virgin's Richard Branson Warns on Bitcoin Scam Sites Using His Name

British business tycoon Richard Branson spoke out Thursday about the rash of bitcoin scam stories that have used his name to lure victims.

“I have written several times warning people about the growing problem of fake stories online linking me to get-rich-quick schemes, fake pages, misleading ads, false endorsements and fake binary trading schemes,” Branson wrote in a blog post.

“While I have often commented on the potential benefits of genuine bitcoin developments,” he continued, “I absolutely do not endorse these fake bitcoin stories.”

Branson is the founder of Virgin Group, whose portfolio of over 400 companies includes the airline Virgin Atlantic. He has promoted bitcoin and blockchain technology in the past, including through an annual private island summit of industry participants.

Branson singled out one scam – Bitcoin Trader – in particular. CoinDesk visited a site advertising the scheme, which poses as a CNN Tech article, complete with the outlet’s logo and formatting – if not its copy-editing.

“560 Thousand British Quit Their Jobs After Richard Branson Invests Heavily In New Bitcoin Financial Tech.” the headline reads, and the fake article is falsely attributed to a real CNN tech writer.

Branson is not the only publicly recognizable figure to warn consumers about scams being perpetrated in his name. Martin Lewis, a British personal finance writer, recently sued Facebook for its failure to take down ads using his image to push scams.

The problem extends to Twitter, where accounts posing as ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin and various cryptocurrency projects have reached epidemic proportions.

Adding to the growing criticism of social media companies for failing to tackle the problem, Branson wrote Thursday:

“We also contact the social networks where the fake stories are being spread and urge them to take the stories down and do more to proactively stop them appearing in the first place.”

Richard Branson image via Shutterstock.

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Australia Warns of Fake 'Tax Collectors' Demanding Bitcoin

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) issued a warning about would-be scammers trying to con people out of their cryptocurrency.

Since late last year, scammers have been calling Australians and impersonating the tax office, claiming that the victims owed funds in unpaid taxes, and asking them to pay in bitcoin. So far, more than 50,000 Australian dollars (about $39,400 in U.S. dollars) have been sent to the scammers, according to a press release from the office.

The ATO warned that residents should be cautious about paying “direct deposits into third-party bank accounts, demanding payment via iTunes cards or with a pre-paid Visa gift cards” as well as cryptocurrencies.

According to the ATO’s website, approved payment methods include credit and debit cards, bank transfers or online bill payment system BPAY. Crypto is not on the list.

ATO assistant commissioner Kath Anderson said it was “inevitable that scammers would target cryptocurrency,” noting its rise to prominence last year. She continued:

“Cryptocurrency operates in a virtual world, and once the scammers receive payment, it’s virtually impossible to get it back.”

Residents who are unsure about a purported tax call can contact the ATO, but any calls threatening police or legal action would not be from the ATO, according to the release.

Stepping back, there have been a number of similar scams around the world in the last several months. Most recently, Canadian police warned that people pretending to be from the Canada Revenue Agency were threatening to arrest victims with alleged unpaid taxes. That scam netted some 340,000 Canadian dollars ($267,000), as previously reported.

Other tax-related scams include a recent attempt to trick U.S. residents into investing retirement funds into “IRS-approved” cryptocurrencies. The Commodity Futures Trade Commission noted at the time that the Internal Revenue Service does not approve or review investments for retirement accounts.

Business miniature image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Tech Legend Steve Wozniak Scammed Out of $70K in Bitcoin

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says he was the victim of a bitcoin scam.

“The blockchain identifies who has bitcoins … that doesn’t mean there can’t be fraud, though. I had seven bitcoins stolen from me through fraud,” he reportedly told the audience at the Economic Times of India’s Global Business Summit.

“Somebody bought them from me online through a credit card and they cancelled the credit card payment,” he went on to say. “It was that easy. And it was from a stolen credit card number so you can never get it back.”

Wozniak said he bought the bitcoin when it was priced at $700, but his loss would be valued at approximately $71,400 today.

Nonetheless, Wozniak is still a cryptocurrency proponent and maintained his bitcoin holdings up until late last year.

“Bitcoins to me was a currency that was not manipulated by the governments. It is mathematical, it is pure, it can’t be altered,” Wozniak was quoted as saying.

He revealed in January that he decided to sell his bitcoin holdings because he was interested in the cryptocurrency only as an experiment.

“I said, ‘I don’t want to become one of those people that watches it, watches it and cares about the number.’ I don’t want that kind of care in my life,” he explained.

Steve Wozniak image via Shutterstock 

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

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European Authorities Seek Arrests in Bitcoin Scam Investigation

Interpol is seeking suspects on behalf of Austrian authorities who are investigating an alleged bitcoin scam that affected as many as 10,000 investors within the country and abroad, resulting in what could be tens of millions of dollars in losses.

According to Bloomberg, the investigation that is underway is focused on a firm called Optioment, which reportedly promised investors returns of up to four percent per week on bitcoin deposits through arbitrage trading. The scheme was previously discussed on the Bitcoin Talk forum last fall, which raised concerns about the pitch being made to would-be investors.

According to Die Presse, the fund ceased operating late last year and was reported to prosecutors by the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) at the end of January due to suspicions that it was a pyramid scheme.

Victims, which may include investors from Poland, Germany and several other Eastern European countries in addition to Austria, have potentially incurred losses of up to 12,000 bitcoin, or approximately $115 million dollars.

Police have identified two Austrian suspects and are in pursuit of others in Denmark, Latvia and Germany, an official told Bloomberg. That said, no arrests have yet been made during the investigation.

Scams and thefts involving cryptocurrency and blockchain have become more common as mainstream investors have looked to enter the market. In December, CoinDesk reported that investors lost nearly $490 million in 2017 alone due to wallet hacks, scams and different kinds of attacks.

Image via Flickr

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.