Cryptocurrency scams will increase by 75% in 2021, according to a report from Bolster Research. The research indicates that 52.6% of cryptocurrency scams involve the use of Bitcoin.
Fraud prevention company Bolster Research recently published its first annual report on cryptocurrency scams. They released key findings on the number and types of scams that occur in the ecosystem.
According to the report, available on Bolster Research’s official blog, cryptocurrency-related scams increased by 40% in 2020 compared to 2019.
Over 400,000 cryptocurrency scams occurred in 2020 alone said the report. The fraud prevention company also predicted that cryptocurrency-related scams will increase by 75% in 2021.
The research indicates that scams increased due to the rise in the prices of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Other factors were their daily increasing popularity and the number of people seeking them for financial aid during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bolster Research says that the global market for cryptocurrencies increased its value 8 times, reaching a valuation of USD 1.7 trillion in January. That is just a way to illustrate the high value that cryptocurrencies have been gaining from January 2020 to January 2021.
The growing price of Bitcoin has not only attracted large investors but also scammers. These criminals have launched hundreds of thousands of attacks to steal digital assets. These acts range from traditional giveaway scams to direct attacks on cryptocurrency wallets.
Key Discoveries about Bitcoin Scams
There are many types of scams in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, according to the Bolster Research report. However, those the most proliferating during 2020 and part of 2021 have been those announcing false prizes, sweepstakes, or lotteries.
Scams involving supposed investments with cryptocurrencies and advance-fee schemes are also in vogue. In them, the criminals request their victims to send crypto assets so that the latter will supposedly receive double.
Besides, there are scams in which the thieves pose as celebrities such as singers, actors, politicians, and businesspeople, among others.
For this report, the firm analyzed from the most popular cryptocurrencies to less recognized ones. They concluded that most scams with cryptocurrencies involve Bitcoin with 52.6%, preceding Chainlink (LINK) with 15%, and Ether (ETH) with 13.3%.
The wallets and exchanges that scammers mostly use are Binance (with 41.8%), Coinbase (with 21.5%), and Gemini (with 13%), according to Bolster Research.
Concerning those announcements in which scammers pose as celebrities, the most widely used identity was Elon Musk, with 90.2%. For example, some hackers posed as the businessman on YouTube promising to give gifts to those sending money.
In the end, Bolster Research recommended companies and individuals use systems that help identify scam and fraud campaigns in advance. At the same time, they advise using a tool that can analyze URLs in real-time, thus blocking malicious links. These are security measures that cryptocurrency holders should take into account if they want to protect their coins.
Other studies have proved that the number of crimes involving cryptocurrencies amounts to around 1%. However, cryptocurrency users should always be careful about the security of their assets, especially by not forgetting the keys to their wallets. They should also avoid revealing sensitive personal information, which could make it easier for cybercriminals to attack them.
By Alexander Salazar