Bolster Research, a fraud prevention company, published its first annual report on cryptocurrency scams on March 25, in which it released key findings on the amount and types of scams that are committed in the ecosystem.
The report, which can be downloaded from the official blog of the Bolster website, revealed that cryptocurrency-related scams increased by 40% in 2020, compared to 2019.
In 2020 alone more than 400,000 cryptocurrency-related scams were registered , the report says. Likewise, the fraud prevention company predicted that by 2021 there will be a rise in cryptocurrency-related scams of 75%.
According to the research, the increase in scams is due to rise in prices of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and the growing popularity that they acquire day after day. Another factor that influenced the growth of scams during 2020, according to Bolster Research, was the number of people who sought cryptocurrencies as financial aid during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To illustrate the high value that cryptocurrencies have been gaining, it only has to be said that, according to the press release published by Bolster Research the March 25, from January 2020 to January 2021, the global cryptocurrency market has increased 8 times in value, reaching a valuation of USD 1.7 trillion in January of this year, as reported by CriptoNoticias.
The increasing rise in the value of bitcoin has not only attracted large investors, but, as stated above, to scammers who have launched hundreds of thousands of attacks in order to steal digital assets. These attacks range from traditional giveaway scams, to direct attacks on cryptocurrency wallets.
Between all different types of scams, crypto scams are the fastest growing category, and we are just at the beginning of this new wave of digital theft campaigns (…) We continue to see scammers being opportunistic and designing campaigns focused on real time, emerging trends when people are not likely to be on guard because it is so new.
Sashi Praka Prakash, Co-founder and CTO of Bolster Research.
Key Discoveries About Bitcoin Scams
Despite there being many types of scams in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, according to the report me of Bolster Research those that have proliferated the most during 2020 and part of 2021, are those that announce false prizes, raffles or lotteries.
Likewise, scams related to the offer of supposed investments with cryptocurrencies and advance fee schemes (in which they ask to send crypto assets to supposedly receive double) are in fashion.
On the other hand, frauds are taking place where scammers pose as a celebrity.
Bolster Research analyzed for this report from the most popular cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether, to less recognized ones, such as Polkadot and Tether. It came to the conclusion that scams are mostly with bitcoins, with a percentage of 52.6% ; followed by Chainlink (LINK) with 15%, and Ether (ETH) with 13.3%.
In CriptoNoticias, scams with bitcoin have been reflected on multiple occasions, such as the case of the scam with fake news, where magic profits with bitcoin were promised in exchange for registering on a supposed platform with bank details and a deposit of USD 250.
Bolster Research also found that portfolios and exchanges with which they try to scam the majority are Binance with 41.8%, Coinbase with 21.5% and Gemini with 13%.
In ads where scammers pose as a celebrity, the Identity that was used the most was Elon Musk, with 90.2%. This medium also reviewed an article where hackers through YouTube posed as Elon Musk promising gifts .
Finally, Bolster Research, as a security measure, commented in its report, both companies and individuals, to use systems that facilitate the early identification of scam and fraud campaigns. This, while using a tool that can analyze urls in real time, thus blocking links that are malicious.