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A new report has found that with the value rise of Bitcoin there has been an increase in the number of scams involving the digital currency on social media and websites.

The report, ‘Bitcoin Scams on Social Media: The Dark Side of Digital Currency,’ found that after the currency’s value exceeded that of gold, instances of online fraud could be found in four categories relating to the currency. These are phishing, flipping, pyramid schemes and malware.

The research, which was undertaken by ZeroFOX, a cybersecurity firm based in Baltimore, Maryland, said:

To date, we’ve identified 3,618 Bitcoin scam URLs. We measured how often posts containing these URLs were shared over a three-week period in early March, and discovered a total of 516 shares averaging 24.53 shares a day.

However, not all Bitcoin scam posts had URLs to known scam websites. Possibly to present a realness to the scams, some asked for direct contact through direct messages or phone while others directed post viewers to a URL containing their bios.

According to the cybersecurity firm, these were more numerous, totaling 8,742 posts for an average of around 416 posts each day over the same time period while scammers are reported to have had unique profiles more than 68 percent of the time.

They said:

If it’s one thing we’ve learned about social network scammers, it’s that they succeed by leeching onto the money-driven hype associated with the latest and greatest hallmarks of popular culture.

With scams involving the digital currency becoming more prevalent, the number of times the scam websites are being shared is increasing. So much so, the ZeroFOX found that the number of Bitcoin scam URLs was shared over 126 million times on social media. It adds, though, that two specific URLs were shared more than 40 million times and two others, which were shared over 10 million times.

And yet, it is down to the fact that Bitcoin is a decentralized, anonymous and irreversible that appears to be making it a profitable currency for scammers, but there are ways in which a person can avoid becoming a victim of Bitcoin scams.

Unfortunately, while the currency will continue to be targeted by criminals intent on targeting the less informed, it’s the same with fiat currency too.

While Bitcoin may be a lucrative currency for thieves to take advantage of, this doesn’t make it any less of a currency to consider as a way of life.

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