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LinkedIn fraudsters lure victims into fake cryptocurrency investments

LinkedIn fraudsters lure victims into fake cryptocurrency investments

Judged by the FBI to be a “significant threat”, scams are abounding on LinkedIn which coax potential victims onto fraudulent platforms where their investment is stolen.

Beginning with a harmless looking contact, small talk is used to direct the potential victim into first investing into a perfectly legitimate crypto business. Once the trust of the individual is gained, sometimes over the course of several months, the victim is enticed into moving funds over to a scam investment platform that the fraudster controls.

According to a recent CNBC article, the FBI is very much aware of this type of scam. FBI special agent Sean Ragan says that “the threat is significant”.

“So the criminals, that’s how they make money, that’s what they focus their time and attention on,” Ragan said. “And they are always thinking about different ways to victimize people, victimize companies. And they spend their time doing their homework, defining their goals and their strategies, and their tools and tactics that they use.”

LinkedIn states that it is working really hard to try to eradicate the problem and keep its users safe. It claims that it removed the quite staggering amount of 32 million accounts last year alone.

The company told CNBC that it is aware of a large increase of fraudulent activities on its platform. It said:

“we enforce our policies, which are very clear: fraudulent activity, including financial scams, are not allowed on LinkedIn. We work every day to keep our members safe, and this includes investing in automated and manual defenses to detect and address fake accounts, false information, and suspected fraud.”

Oscar Rodriguez, senior director of trust, privacy and equity at LinkedIn, said:

“trying to identify what is fake and what is not fake is incredibly difficult.”

He added:

“One of the things that I would really love for us to do more is get into proactive education for members,” Rodriguez said. “Letting members know or basically allowing them to understand the risks that they might face.”

The CNBC article gave the example of Mei Mei Soe, a Florida benefits manager, who lost her entire life savings of $288,000 to just such a scam as previously described.

An individual posing as a manager of a Los Angeles fitness company got her trust by suggesting she invest a small amount into Crypto.com, which she had heard of and knew was legitimate. 

However, he eventually talked her into moving all her investments onto a site that he controlled. She moved all her life savings in nine transactions over a period of several months. She described how she felt when she realised she had been conned:

“I still remember the day. Once I realized I had been scammed, I tried to contact him but couldn’t find him anywhere. I work hard, and every single dollar I save, I work hard to save that. It hurts.”

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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