According to FBI Special Agent Sean Regan, scammers are using the popular business networking platform LinkedIn to lure unsuspecting victims into cryptocurrency scams. The scams start when the scammer creates a phony profile on LinkedIn and then contacts other LinkedIn users initially with innocuous communications designed to establish trust. After a while the conversation then turns to cryptocurrency investments with the scammer first directing the scammer to a legitimate cryptocurrency investment platform, but then after a few months the scammer advises the targeted victim to move the cryptocurrency account to another cryptocurrency site, but this time, the site is a phony one set up the scammer and although it looks legitimate, it is a total scam. Once the funds are transferred to the scammer’s phony cryptocurrency site, which, by the way can look quite legitimate, the scammer takes the money and runs.
LinkedIn is aware of these scammers, but stopping them is difficult and even though LinkedIn says that it took down 32 million fake accounts from the platform in 2021, it is a never ending battle to police the site and keep scammers off of it and their efforts can never be 100% effective and timely.
Victims of this scam are reporting losses of between $200,000 and 1.6 million dollars.
Remember my motto, “trust me, you can’t trust anyone.” Whenever you are communicated with by email, phone, text message, through social media or even through an old fashioned snail mail letter, you can never be sure of with whom you are actually communicating. Therefore you should never provide personal information or make a payment in response to such communications unless you have absolutely confirmed that the communication is legitimate.
In the case of the LinkedIn scam, too many people merely trusted the scammers to be who they represented themselves to be without doing an investigation into whether they were legitimate or not.
As for Cryptocurrency investing, it is important to remember that you should never invest in something that you do not completely understand. This was a mistake that many of Bernie Madoff’s victims made. Cryptocurrency scams quite often involve complicated language and investment terms that are purposefully unclear in an effort to confuse potential investors from understanding the real facts. You also may want to check out the SEC’s investor education website at www.investor.gov. Scammers can be very convincing and it may sound like there is a great opportunity for someone to make some money, but you must be careful that the person making money is not the scam artist taking yours.
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