However, most Bitcoin scams aren't as devastating as Sebastian's. Once the investor has increased their investment, their account is closed and the scammers disappear with their money. With the rise of new cryptocurrency-based investments, such as initial coin offerings (ICOs) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), there are now even more avenues for fraudsters to try to access your money. When one of these trusted connections demands cryptocurrency for any reason, it can often be a sign of scam.
The government arrested a group of men who had been running the BitClub Network scam, which attracted investors with promises of big profits from investing in Bitcoin mining. An exit scam, or initial coin offering (ICO) scam, is when fraudsters pretend to have created a new type of cryptocurrency currency that promises to be the next big thing and generate huge returns, and then disappear into the air with investors' funds. In such emails, the scammers claim to have a record of adult websites or other illicit websites visited by the user and threaten to expose them unless they share private keys or send cryptocurrencies to the scammer. Moving forward in the sphere of influence, scammers also try to impersonate famous celebrities, entrepreneurs or cryptocurrency influencers.
Scammers often use dating websites to make unsuspecting targets believe they are in a real long-term relationship. Consumers can spot a scam if a person or organization contacts them with a guarantee of huge investment returns if they send them cryptocurrencies, the FTC said. With the expected value of Bitcoin still increasing and the excitement increasing just as quickly, there will be more opportunities for scammers to trick people who want to get involved. You can also report a cryptocurrency scam to the FCA by contacting their consumer helpline at 0800 111 6768 or using their online reporting form.
You must report cryptocurrency scams to Action Fraud, the UK's national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre. If you think that the scammers were able to contact you due to a data breach, it's worth contacting the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).