What are the latest cryptocurrency scams of 2021? As cryptocurrency becomes more acceptable on Main Street, scams and fraud are not far behind. Some experts believe that cryptocurrency scams will increase by a whopping 75% in 2021. Add that to the already-observed 40% increase year-over-year in digital currency scams? Don’t be a victim!
Bogus Cryptocurrency Exchanges
It’s the same sort of scam as the fake ATM planted in a shopping mall or nearby. You use the fake exchange thinking it’s a legitimate operation. Before you know it, you’ve fallen victim to something you THOUGHT was the real thing. How could anyone “be so stupid”? It’s sometimes a case of mistaken identity.
As in, the cryptocurrency scammers select a real crypto exchange and create a website with a name just similar enough to the real thing to fool people who aren’t paying enough attention. This occurred in South Korea in 2017. A scammer site, BitKRX, fooled people into investing money. The victims sign up thinking they get to invest on the legitimate platform called Korea Exchange or KRX, which is said to be the largest trading platform in South Korea. However, they are not on the platform they think they are.
What happens when you trade digital currency on an exchange that is real and not a scam (see above) but wind up investing in crypto that doesn’t actually exist? This happened to investors in 2019, lured by one of the latest cryptocurrency scams. In 2019, the Motley Fool official site reports that the U.S. government arrested the operator of My Big Coin. The lure of this bogus crypto? Advertising itself as being backed by gold.
Repurposing Old Scams
One scam making the rounds in the United States? People from overseas call centers ring cell phone numbers impersonating someone “from the IRS”. These scammers claim many things–that there may be a warrant for your arrest over non-payment of overdue taxes, that you may be liable for more debt, police harassment, repossession of your house or car, etc. There is one thing these scams all have in common. The central idea? Convince the victim to pay their way out of getting arrested or sued.
But these calls are ALWAYS scams–the federal government will never call you in this manner. The way these scams run in 2021? Bitcoin gets added to the list of ways you can pay the scammer to avoid “getting arrested”.
When you get a call from a third party that you did not initiate or expect, it’s best to treat all such calls as potential attempts to part you from your money. Never give any information to someone who has called YOU. It is a lot different when you call a creditor at a central number or toll-free number. It’s quite another to accept a phone call from someone you don’t know and just take their word for it that the IRS wants your money or will have you arrested. Don’t fall for the latest cryptocurrency scams or repurposed versions of old scams we all know and hate.
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Joe Wallace is a writer and editor from Illinois. He was an editor and producer for Air Force Television News for 13 years, and has served as Managing Editor for publications including Gearwire.com, and Associate Editor for FHANewsBlog.com. He is also an experienced book and script editor specializing in non-fiction and documentary filmmaking