While there is no doubt that blockchain and cryptocurrency have the power to change the world for the better, the truth is that cyber criminals are constantly searching for opportunities to profit off of unsuspecting victims, and the cryptocurrency world is no exception. Specifically, it appears as though criminals are targeting victims through Instagram, as a scam in Sweden is apparently gaining traction, Forbes reported.
According to the report, the scam lures victims in by promising high-end merchandise from well-known companies such as Apple, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci, but requires the interested buyer to exchange their fiat currency into cryptocurrency in order for the purchase to be finalized. Instead of delivering the product, the Instagram seller then essentially vanishes.
The majority of those who are affected are young users under 25, who are eager to obtain luxury products for a bargain price. The scam is apparently still continuing, even though Swedish law enforcement has attempted to shed light upon the tactics of these scammers. The Instagram profiles are usually new profiles with a few followers, advertising prices on goods that are much lower than they should be. One of the reasons that the scam is effective is because the seller is able to convince the buyers that they should “act fast,” because the lower price might interest many other parties. Of course, the scam is that the seller is not actually interested in selling a product at all.
Unfortunately, social media has allowed many criminals to get away with various cryptocurrency schemes. There are often bots pretending to be cryptocurrency influencers or other individuals urging users to send cryptocurrency in order to participate in a contest, for example. Elon Musk even jokingly praised the “Ethereum scambots” last year, in a tweet that some cryptocurrency proponents considered to be in bad taste.
A spokesperson from a local Swedish cryptocurrency brokerage seemed frustrated with the way that Instagram handles the issue, as well as the fact that there are often too many cases for law enforcement to effectively handle. Specifically, the spokesperson referred to Instagram’s customer service as “literally non-existent,” and stated that there is a “significant delay” when it comes to law enforcement, given the volume of reported cases.
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