An alert by the FBI has warned that bogus cryptocurrency investment apps have swindled at least 244 victims out of close to $43m.
According to Cyberscoop, the fraudulent apps identified in the alert posed as legitimate banking institutions, inviting investors to deposit funds and then telling them they couldn’t make a withdrawal unless they paid taxes on their investments first. Victims were then unable to access the funds even after paying the fees.
Two of the bogus exchanges named in the alert were found to have stolen branding from legitimate – or formerly legitimate – exchanges to confuse victims. The FBI remarked that YiBit, one of the companies, defrauded at least four victims of around $5.5m between October 2021 and May 2022.
In addition, criminals behind Supayos – another fraudulent exchange named in the alert – signed one victim up to a fake subscription on an account with a minimum balance of $900,000 without his consent, then said that if he didn’t comply, his assets would be frozen.
The FBI alert also called on financial institutions to proactively warn consumers of potential scams and periodically search online for scammers copying their name or logo.
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