Earning quick bucks is what many people desire. There’s always an effort to find ways to multiply wealth and get richer to afford the luxuries in life. Off late cryptocurrency emerged as one of the means to earn those quick bucks without coming under the tax radar. However, like every other thing which involves money, there’s a risk of scams which may result you in losing all the money you’ve earned. Let’s try and understand what these scams are all about.
The not so new ‘risky’ currency
Cryptocurrency has been around for a while, but only recently has it started to take over the world. Before getting into the details about the rising cryptocurrency scams, you should know what cryptocurrency is.
Cryptocurrency, just like the normal currency, is used to buy goods or services over the internet. The only difference is that it works online. There are a lot of different types of cryptocurrencies launched by different companies, each having its different value in dollars. Cryptocurrencies work on the technology of blockchain which is a decentralized technology that is spread across various systems used to manage transactions.
Now, Bitcoin (BTC) is one of the most famous cryptocurrencies. A single Bitcoin i.e. 1 BTC is worth over $50,000. Since it’s worth so much money, cybercriminals have started targeting it. The different types of ongoing cryptocurrency scams are Cryptojacking, Counterfeiting, Imposter websites, and social media-related scams.
· Cryptojacking, as the name suggests, means hijacking someone else’s system to mine cryptocurrency. There are multiple ways in which attackers can hijack someone’s system to mine cryptocurrencies without the victim’s knowledge. This is either done by sending phishing emails to the victim through which they download the crypto mining code and it gets loaded into their systems. Once executed, the code performs mathematical operations on the victim’s system and sends the data to a server operated by the hacker.
· Through Social Media: Social Media has become the epicenter of all the online scams happening in today’s world. Attackers can use social media in several ways for cryptocurrency scams. Attackers mostly use the method of impersonation where they mislead naïve people into thinking that a certain product is being endorsed by celebrities, and they lure the people into clicking on legitimate-looking URLs that loads the crypto mining code into their systems.
· Impostor Websites: A lot of impostor websites have come up in the last few years. These websites have a striking resemblance with the real ones, which makes people invest their money thinking that the website is legitimate, and makes them lose a lot of money.
Beenu Arora, the founder, and CEO of Cybe, which is a threat intelligence software service provider has stated that it is really difficult to monitor cryptocurrency transactions as there is no central organization that governs them.
Cryptocurrency scams have made their way into India as well, as many similar scams are being reported on a regularly. Most of these scams are based on Ponzi schemes that lure investors into thinking that the website is legitimate and makes them lose a lot of money.
Protect yourself: Make a note of these points
1.Do not open emails received from strangers.
2.Do not engage in a conversation with fake accounts on social media until absolutely necessary. Never open links and attachments from strangers.
3. Do not install pirated software from the internet.
4. Keep your antivirus software up to date.
5. Do not trust websites that do not start with ‘https:’.