How Do Scammers Steal Bitcoin?

Vandana  |  Jul 15, 2020

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency across the world is seeing quite a great adoption worldwide. People have started moving more towards cryptocurrency and the most trusted one is Bitcoin only. With this, it has also been seen that Bitcoin scams are increasing rapidly day after day. In this year only, a lot of Bitcoin scams have been reported and people have started getting anxious about it. The major question that comes out of it is how these scammers are able to steal Bitcoin even when it is backed by blockchain. A lot of people claim that it is quite difficult to steal Bitcoins, then how these scammers are able to do so. These scammers try out different tactics and techniques in order to steal Bitcoin. Here are some of the most common ways, through which Bitcoins are stolen:

Bitcoin Email Scams

This is one of the most common types of scams concerning Bitcoin and people easily tend to fall victims for such scams. These email scams range in different categories and the one that has been used majorly in these scams is blackmailing. The scammers tend to send different blackmailing emails to the victims and ask some huge amount of Bitcoins from them.

One of the most used ones is the sextortion email scams. In this type of blackmailing scams, scammers ask for huge amounts of Bitcoin and threaten the victims to release some of their videos online. It has been seen that this is one of the most common and successful types of scam and people easily fall for such scams. Recently, in this year only it has been seen that these scams are on its peak and are increasing rapidly. Similar kinds of reports have come from different parts of the world claiming that the scammers have asked for huge amounts of Bitcoin in very less time and threatened people to leak some proof that they visited any pornographic site.

Another type of famous blackmailing scam involves revealing the secrets of a person of enterprises. In such scams, the scammers claim to have some secret information or some dirty secret about the victim and threaten them to release those secrets and ask Bitcoin in return. These ransomware scams are increasing rapidly over the past few years and in this year it has been seen that such scams have increased to a very great extent. The reason behind this might be the increase in Bitcoin adoption over the past few years.

Malware downloads scams

Malware download scams have become quite popular over some time and it has been seen that Bitcoin has become a victim of these scams. Just by clicking on a link, you might lose a huge amount of Bitcoins. Such type of scammers targets the Bitcoin users on social media through some posts claiming about different rewards for Bitcoin. A lot of such fake posts also claim that you can mine Bitcoin just by downloading some app or program or by just clicking on a single link. Through such activities, scammers are able to have access to the wallets of those victims and stole their cryptocurrency. In order to stay away from such scams, people should be very careful while doing online transactions and along with this, they should always opt for a legitimate crypto exchange.

Bitcoin Ponzi schemes

Ponzi schemes have been going on since very long and Bitcoin has been a victim of such schemes. In these scams, the hackers or scammers try to please the Bitcoin users by promising them some huge returns on their investment. In order to gain the trust of the victim, these scammers will first ask for small investments and when they gain their trust, they usually run away with all of their funds. It has been seen over time that most of the people who fall victim to such scams are the new crypto users who are not very well aware of the risk and scams associated with it. That is why, it has been said that before investing in cryptocurrency, one should be very well aware of every single detail about it and the complete risk factor associated with it.

SIM Swapping

Along with other scams, Bitcoin has remained on target in SIM Swapping attacks as well. The reason behind such scams is using the phone number for identity authentication. Because of this with the increase in Bitcoin adoption, these SIM swap attacks have increased rapidly. This is one of the most common and easy ways that the scammers have been using to steal Bitcoins and it only requires the phone number of the victim in most of the cases. An empirical study has been published by the researchers of Harvard and Princeton University in January 2020. In this study, the researchers have revealed that the potential for SIM swapping attacks is increasing rapidly.

Conclusion

With the increase in Bitcoin scams, there is a need to be more careful while trading or buying cryptocurrency. One should be very well aware of all the things while buying any particular cryptocurrency and Bitcoin being the largest cryptocurrency is prone to all such attacks. One should always trust the legitimate crypto exchanges when dealing in cryptocurrency and stay away from all the fraudulent activities.

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