The British national watchdog gave a warning earlier in March, and now the regional authorities in the U.K have cautioned against COVID-19 Bitcoin scam. Reportedly Bitcoin scammers are using the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in order to hoax the people.
There had been alerts published throughout March related to the consumer frauds. Now, the Financial Conduct Authority’s caution against the cryptocurrency scammers has been echoing in counties of Norfolk and Pembrokeshire and the Manchester city council. These threats are coming at a time when Bitcoin price is coming back up after a hit despite the Coronavirus closure the global economy is facing.
The tactics employed by the Bitcoin scammers have been identified by the three regional authorities. These scammers are taking advantage of the anxiety and panic created due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
What is COVID-19 Bitcoin scam?
Manchester City Council explains that the COVID-19 Bitcoin scam is carried out in a systematic manner. Fraudsters pretend to be from some research organizations such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization.
They then claim to give the victim the list of active infections in the area of their residence, but in order to gain access to that information. The victims have to either click on the provided link that would then redirect them to some credential-stealing page, or the victims have to make some donation to support the cause, in the form of payment into the BTC account.
So far, three cities Manchester, Pembrokshire, and Norfolk, have identified such COVID-19 Bitcoin scam alerts. Warnings of COVID-19 Bitcoin scam claiming to provide up-to-date data of infection tracking upon receiving Bitcoin payments have also been issued.
Meanwhile, FCA highlighted that currently, due to the high-return investment opportunity related to crypto-assets, the investment could be repurposed to exploit the present pandemic.