Warning to millions of Facebook and Twitter users – Ignoring can cost you

MILLIONS of social media users are being warned of a dangerous surge in cryptocurrency scams.

Figures from The Sun show thousands of Brits being targeted online by sinister scammers.

Many cryptocurrencies are safe - but there are thousands of scams just waiting for their victims

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Many cryptocurrencies are safe – but there are thousands of scams just waiting for their victimsPhoto credit: Unsplash

This means users of popular apps like Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok need to be extra careful when it comes to crypto posts.

In the year leading up to June 30, 2022, just over 7,200 cases of crypto fraud were reported to the FCA, the UK’s financial regulator.

That represents a staggering 45% year-over-year increase, according to Capital Block’s numbers.

“A lot of these scams come unchecked via major social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter,” Capital Block CEO Tim Mangnall told The sun.

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“Much like governments and regulators around the world, these platforms need to do better scrutiny of what is and isn’t legitimate, and ultimately what is and isn’t being let through to consumers.”

The Sun previously revealed how fake celebrity endorsements were used to promote cryptocurrency scams online.

These ads prey on innocent victims who may be unaware of the dangers of crypto scams.

But Capital Block warns that even large companies and seasoned investors can get caught in scams.

Many of the scams consist of tricking users into signing up with fake apps or wallets, investing in fake cryptocoins, or through traditional phishing – where you are tricked into handing over information to a crook online.

Figures obtained via a Freedom of Information request show a shocking increase in reports to the FCA:

  • 2018/2019 – 1,840 reports
  • 2019/2020 – 1,838 reports
  • 2020/2021 – 5,040 reports
  • 2021,2022 – 7,287 reports

Social media sites and even Google search regularly (and unwittingly) host cryptocurrency scams.

Earlier this year, crypto crooks used the death of Queen Elizabeth II to share fake “Meme Coins” scams on social media to make a quick buck.

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Experts are now urging the government to do more to prevent Britons from becoming victims.

“Crypto fraud is on the rise unabated and something must be done to prevent vulnerable individuals from being harmed,” Mangnall warned.

“The UK government made a big gamble to become a ‘Cryptoasset Tech Hub’.

“When it comes to attracting investment in space, you have to be serious about protecting people.”

Tech giants are increasingly cracking down on cryptocurrency fraud.

Facebook has strict advertising rules that force crypto companies to provide proof that their technology is secure.

“Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology is a rapidly evolving and dynamic industry that is highly vulnerable to financial fraud and deceptive advertising,” explains Facebook.

“To reduce risks for consumers, we require advertisers who wish to promote cryptocurrency trading platforms, software, or services and products that use blockchain technology to demonstrate that their activities are appropriately licensed.”

Last year, Google issued a warning about cryptocurrency scams on YouTube.

“We’re continually improving our detection methods and investing in new tools and features that automatically detect and stop threats like this,” Google said.

“Safe Browsing also detects and blocks malware landing pages and downloads.

“YouTube has hardened channel transfer workflows and has detected and automatically restored more than 99% of hijacked channels.”

Here’s how to stay safe online

The City of London Police’s Action Fraud Unit recommends being extremely cautious of ads online and social media that promise high returns on crypto investments.

“Don’t be pressured into investing,” said Action Fraud.

“No legitimate person or company will pressure you into making an investment or committing to anything immediately. Take the time to do your research.”

It offered these five tips:

  • Before making any important financial decision, seek advice from trusted friends, family members, or independent professional advice services. Even real investment opportunities can pose a high risk.
  • Contact a financial adviser accredited by the Financial Conduct Authority. Paying for professional advice may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it will help prevent you from being scammed.
  • Only use the phone number and email address on the FCA register, not the contact details the company gives you and be aware of any slight differences.
  • Just because a company has a shiny website and rave reviews from wealthy investors doesn’t mean it’s legit – scammers will go to great lengths to convince you it’s not a scam.
  • Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you think you have been the victim of a crypto scam, you can report it online or by calling 0300 123 2040.

You should also contact your bank immediately if you think you have been scammed by a social media scam.

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Featured Image: Unsplash/The Sun


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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9746103/facebook-twitter-google-cryptocurrency-scams-warning/ Warning to millions of Facebook and Twitter users – Ignoring can cost you

Fry Electronics Team

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