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An alarming surge in reports on crypto scams backed by celebrities is being seen by a major financial institution in London
As per the news reported by Santander UK, people lost around £11,872 (RM63,333) to crypto frauds in the early quarters of the year.
The head of fraud and risk management, Chris Ainsley stated on this prevailing issue: “We’re seeing a worrying rise in ‘celebrity-endorsed’ cryptocurrency scams, where familiar faces are being misused on social media in order to con people out of often life-changing sums of money. Rather than revelling in the promised high returns, people are losing significant sums after being duped by these highly sophisticated criminals. Always do your homework and thoroughly research any investment opportunity before moving any money – irrespective of who is endorsing it.”
The Scams can entail users seeing a celebrity who appears to be promoting cryptocurrencies online or being introduced to a cryptocurrency “investment opportunity” by another social media user.
To learn more the customer clicks the link and provides their contact number. After that, they receive calls, emails, or messages on social media with offers of large profits with “little to no risk.” Fraudsters frequently employ aggressive sales techniques. To help people open bitcoin accounts, they are instructed to download specialised software.
The fraudster has complete access to the customer’s PC thanks to the remote access software. The client creates bitcoin accounts and funds them. In the end, the fraudster restricts the user access and takes over the customer’s account, leaving them the victim of crypto fraud.
Santander advised whoever has fallen victim to a cryptocurrency scam to notify their bank right away. They should unplug and switch off their computer if they downloaded software that was supposed to assist with the investment, and they shouldn’t use it again until they have taken the software out and had it checked by professional authorities.
The bank is warning customers that just because a cryptocurrency investment looks to have the endorsement of a famous person, it does not necessarily indicate the endorsement is true or that the investment is genuine or a good one. It advised against accepting unsolicited investment offers, whether they were offered over the phone or on social media.
They should also look up the business on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) website. The website has a ScamSmart tool that assists in the identification of investments.
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