Blockchain forensics firm Ciphertrace reported that crypto scams and other crypto-related criminal activities have netted 1.4 billion dollars in the first five months of 2020.
While enthusiasts might argue, it is evident that criminals especially cybercriminals are using cryptocurrencies as their preferred medium of transactions. However, the report noted that crypto exchanges are becoming more aware of illegal funds coming to them and are imploying successful tactics to counter criminal activity.
Crypto scams grossed $1.4 billion in 2020
The report titled “Spring 2020 Cryptocurrency Anti-Money Laundering and Crime Report,” explored the numerous methods employed by criminals to swindle people.
As per the report, mega-sized Chinese crypto scam Wotoken contributed the most to the amount stolen. The project single-handedly swindled more than one billion dollars from around 700,000 victims. The Ponzi scheme is one of the largest crypto scams following PlusToken – another Chinese scam grossing nearly two billion dollars.
Other than Wotoken, the majority of the funds were stolen through coronavirus-related scams. The outbreak of the COVID pandemic impacted the global economy directly as well through the plague of scammers that used coronavirus as a method of swindling people.
A crisis indeed shows the worst in humanity: the report revealed that during the peak of the pandemic scammers used various methods including impersonating popular people to defraud unsuspecting people. While the content of their requests differed, the scammers eventually asked for payments done in Bitcoin.
One alleged scammer was arrested by US authorities who allegedly posted about the website in a hacker’s forum and demanded a payment in Bitcoin for the domain. The person wanted to sell the website (coronaprevention.org) to an undercover agent who wanted to buy the domain to sell fake COVID-19 test kits. The website owner stated that the idea was “genius” and had no objections in selling the website.