Unnerving Connection between Social Media and Crypto ScamsAugust 8, 2020
The crypto markets might be gearing up for a new bull run, but so are the scammers looking to take advantage of the newfound interest in cryptocurrency. Like with all things related to domains of esports, digital media, and so forth, this is also an apparently global effort, involving many different nods of malicious individuals.
Also, being that the world is in the modern age, the scammers are targeting as many people as possible for as much of a criminal profit as possible. However, what is problematic is not the fact that many are trying to take advantage of the gullible, but just how many are succeeding at that and on what scale.
Unsurprisingly, the crypčtocurrency experts see a much larger trend here and also one that could be a serious issue in the years to come. It shows that crypto adoption is rolling further while crypto education remains painfully lacking. 2020 is the perfect year to point just how prevalent this trend is becoming and across a range of social media platforms.
The Twitter debacle that took place a few weeks ago is probably among the most prominent examples of the insatiable new trend of crypto scamming. In it, over 100,000 USD got transferred to crypto accounts because of a hack that took advantage of a lacking system of precautions on Twitter. Thanks to it, the scammers managed to pull and push their way into dozens of celebrities and corporate accounts and with them, promote a simple payment scheme that hooked thousands.
The result was a huge drop in public confidence in Twitter Inc.’s ability to protect itself and its users from technically very simple scamps. It also showed the world once again that crypto scammers have the power to take advantage of the gullible and ill-informed on social media like never before. However, the same is by no means limited to Twitter, but as a trend is slowly moving across to other platforms as well.
A very similar type of scam that hit Twitter so hard is not slowly ramping up on Instagram as well. Presently, more than 1.3 million accounts on the Facebook-owned social media platform are using the #coinbase hashtag. Out of these, the majority showcase some kind of inauthentic behavior. Coinbase did not want to comment on any of its Instagram influencer campaigns but said that presently it has no such campaign active.
It also did not want to comment on any specific influencer campaigns it had in the past, but insiders are positive these included Instagram as well. Also, the company has a presence there like any other major businesses. This is why the shady dealings that latch onto that presence succeed in taking people’s cryptocurrency funds.
The scams like these ones, no matter where they take place, have to be tackled from an educational perspective. The reason for this is the simple fact that so many people are involved in crypto these days, but are almost clueless about this ecosystem. Instead, they might have crypto funds on some kind of easy-to-use application and know how to use the very basic features of the same wallets.
The result is that many send their money to scammers while trying to double their holdings or something similar. Fortunately, important voices in the social media crypto communities are speaking up about this. The problem is that in a half-hearted effort to do something about the scams, the administrators of individual social media companies often target legitimate voices along with potential fraudsters. This creates nothing more than a whole nother level of confusion, which again scammers use to their advantage.
There is no doubt that all administrators and moderators are working overtime on many social media viral stories in the wake of COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic (including an epidemic of fake news). Yet, despite their workload, not being able to disseminate between friend and foe slowly builds up a complete confusion of what is actually legit information and what is scammer bait.
Giveaway and Customer Relations
At the base of the problem is the ongoing process of real crypto giveaways and customer relations contacts that take place on social media. In Latin American in particular, entrepreneurs and businesses use Instagram to get in touch with potential customers. In places like Venezuela or its neighboring refugee and immigrant communities, mobile communication is the only sustainable means of getting in touch with anyone.
In an ideal world, there would be no legitimate giveaways of crypto and no direct communication between companies and individuals that are not email-based or taking place on direct chat protocols that these businesses run. Now, however, the legitimate chatter mixes perfectly with scams and frauds, making it a great combination for people to lose their BTC tokens.
Things getting Worse
Potentially, the real dangers of crypto scams lie in the future. As the world slowly but mistakenly slides into a depression and the economies become burdened by monetary emissions like fiscal stimulus, life will get harder and money scarcer. That would generate more and more individuals who will be willing to risk a lot to even potentially get something like 0.1 BTC. Desperation is a great element for any kind of scam and it appears that the scamming entities, either as individuals or full-on criminal organizations are aware of this.
Hopes are that these educational efforts manage to make a difference and save individuals from becoming entangled in scams that rob them of their present funds. Sadly, it is also certain that on a higher level, social media giants will likely fail to do anything on their part. Instead, they will react to things like massive scams, but miss out on implementing any kind of long-term system that would nip these scamming operations in the bud. The result will probably be many more global scams that will take place before either collective level of knowledge rises or social media platforms are forced into sustainable solutions.