Bitcoin scams are getting ‘more sophisticated,’ according to one trader, as the currency’s value soars over $7,400.
Alex Saunders, a bitcoin trader from Launceston, Australia, who has been trading in the digital currency for five years, said that bitcoin scams involving phishing scams, pyramid schemes and websites that promise extraordinary returns are steadily adapting to a changing market, reports ABC News.
When I first started off it was very much dodgy websites just trying to catch people out. Whereas now the hackers and the scammers are definitely getting more sophisticated.
One Australian trader has found out the hard way how easy it is for hackers to siphon of his coins.
Jason Hall of Perth, Australia, explained that scammers were able to manipulate Google search results for his trading website. They were then able to gain access to his real account, subsequently stealing his money.
He said he had typed his trading website into Google and clicked on the link at the top, adding:
I was in a rush, I wanted to make a trade, I saw an opportunity and I wanted to do it quickly before I went to sleep.
The website Hall had logged into was a scam website copying a legitimate one. It was only a week after the incident that Hall was able to get into contact with website support. Unfortunately, all of his bitcoins were gone. As a result, Hall lost AU$1,600 to the hackers.
Over the past week, bitcoin’s value has increased to unprecedented heights, rising from $6,000 to over $7,400 at the time of publishing. Yet, with a rise in price comes increasing interest as well. According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), October saw 245 reports of bitcoin-related scams, totalling $92,000.
An ACCC spokeswoman said:
The scam categories with the most bitcoin-related reports in October were unexpected prize and lottery scams, investment scheme scams and reclaim scams.
Due diligence is required when it comes to trading with bitcoin and to avoid becoming another victim of hackers. With bitcoin gaining increasing mainstream attention there will also be a rise in the number of traders keen to purchase their own coins. Many bitcoin scams, though, will appear too good to be true and are simply there to make money off of unsuspecting individuals.
As Saunders advises it’s important for potential investors to conduct their own research first before investing in any cryptocurrency projects first.
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