crypto strategy

Robocallers have upped their scam game and they’re after your crypto

Professional scam organizations are targeting cryptocurrency users following the collapse of FTX, launching millions of robocalls and text messages in an effort to scam information and funds.

Clayton LiaBraaten, senior executive advisor at Truecaller – an app that helps identify fraudulent callers and messages – spoke to Cointelegraph, scammers often follow crypto news closely to better prey on their victims:

“Fraudsters love volatility and timeliness. Whenever they can try to ride the contours of something very disruptive in the market, they are very successful. »

LiaBraaten said Truecaller has also seen an increase in fraudulent Bitcoin-related communications (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies when the market started to become volatile in early 2022.

He added “agents” ultimately seeking to steal funds launching millions of “robocalls” and text messages trying to capture people’s “fear, curiosity and sometimes generosity”.

Telephone numbers can be obtained in a variety of ways, including by data breaches who leaked millions of numbers, or vitools that scrape social media platforms for information.

One impostor scam is most commonly seen by Truecaller, where a malicious actor will pretend to represent a help desk or similar entity of a major crypto exchange or company. Scammers will also post their phone numbers on fake copycat websites, trying to legitimize themselves.

Young adults are more often targeted by fraudsters because “there is so much information available about them because they put out so much of it on social media,” according to LiaBraaten.

“They use the same ID for their Bitcoin forum as they do for their TikTok and on all these social media platforms […] It is very easy to build a data graph on these individuals and then start targeting them. There is so much material to social engineer against with younger generations.

The abundance of information people post online allows scammers to send pop-up messages or calls to their targets, making malicious communications more persuasive.

“They’re great psychologists and social engineers, so they’ll try their best to bring something contextually relevant,” LiaBraaten said.

The initial call or text will not necessarily result in financial fraud According to LiaBraaten, agents first attempt to acquire or confirm information about their target in an effort to build trust.

“They build more and more character details and when they gather enough information, then yes, they will try to access your crypto wallet.”

“There are a lot of people who don’t really understand cryptocurrency,” LiaBraaten said. “They prey on the vulnerable, so very savvy cryptocurrency aficionados are unlikely to fall prey to this, as they are quite keen on what they are doing and very cautious.”

Related: Sam Bankman-Fried deepfake attempts to scam investors affected by FTX

Regardless of a person’s ability to detect a scamhe said anyone calling or texting asking for personal information or passwords should not be engaged and only official channels should be used.

“One of the worst things you can do is stay on the phone with these guys because their mission is to relieve you of your cryptocurrency. It just takes a moment of vulnerability, a minute of questioning, then they go shopping.

In February, Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao sounded the alarm over a “massive” SMS Phishing Scam Targeting Binance Customers.

The scam involved sending users a text message with a link to reverse withdrawals, leading users to a fake website designed to harvest their login credentials.