OneCoin: Cryptocurrency ‘scam’ discussed by expert
Make the most of your money by signing up to our newsletter for FREE now
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
One popular method scammers employ is the so-called “romance” scam. Kraken, a US-based cryptocurrency exchange with offices in Europe, explains scammers will impersonate a well-known celebrity or loved one with an emotional angle that encourages them to send tokens. As with many other scams, this could leave them out of pocket to the tune of a year’s wages, but they can pre-empt these attacks.
Ask for a video call
Scammers trying to realise the “romance” angle will often use pictures or other details from family members’ social media.
Thankfully, this is easy to pull apart and only requires a video call request.
Real-life family members will hopefully accept the request, but scammers will always try and avoid it.
Cryptocurrency scam: How to avoid crypto ‘romance’ scam that mimics loved-ones (Image: GETTY)
Cryptocurrency scam: Cryptocurrencies have boomed in 2021, attracting a legion of novice investors (Image: GETTY)
Never give out financial details
People shouldn’t give out their financial details to anyone without proper confirmation of their identity.
Romance scammers will pressure their targets to hand over sensitive details such as a mother’s maiden name.
They may attempt to make the message appear “natural” from a family member, but online, requests like these almost always indicate a scammer wants to access your financial details.
Cryptocurrency scam: People should always resist giving strangers credit card details (Image: GETTY)
Keep an eye out for urgency
Scammers will often try and employ urgency in their messages to stop people from thinking critically about the request.
Urgent messages requesting details are an essential red flag, and people should do the opposite of what the scammer wants.
Anyone receiving these kinds of messages should step back a moment and really consider whether the request is legitimate.
Cryptocurrency scam: A video call will deter most romance scammers (Image: GETTY)
Stay wary of “celebrities”
When scammers aren’t impersonating family members, they may try their hand at celebrities.
Chris Hauk, a consumer privacy champion at Pixel Privacy, told Express.co.uk people should stay especially wary of tweets.
He said: “Be wary of tweets and other social networking posts that appear to be from celebrities claiming that they are giving cryptocurrency.
“Of course, they’ll ask for money, saying they’ll send you back more money.”
Do your research
As with every cryptocurrency, people should try and stay on top of complaints from the general public.
Sites such as Action Fraud keep a database of organisations people have reported for scamming in the past.
Most of the entries include fraudulent companies rather than individuals, but they can be equally predatory.