New and alarming findings on the rise of cryptocurrency-related scams

New and alarming findings on the rise of cryptocurrency-related scams
Cybersecurity firm calls on major industry players to do more to protect investors’ trust after in-depth report and warns that should they fail to act, we could see another collapse as in 2018

LONDON, UK: : BrandShield Systems, an online threat hunting company specialised in monitoring, detecting, and removing online threats, announced new and alarming findings on the rise of cryptocurrency-related scams, with Dogecoin domain registrations up by more than 700%.

The findings come as cryptocurrency has exploded in popularity with retail investors, driving hundreds of billions of dollars of investment to and increased scrutiny of the financial asset from media and government organisations.

BrandShield provides its SaaS based online protection solution to a growing number of clients in the crypto sector including eToro and a leading global crypto currency investment company to which BrandShield announced an extension to its contract on 15 April 2021. 

In a deep crawling of the Internet and an analysis of websites, domain names and social platforms including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, BrandShield found that Dogecoin, a popular cryptocurrency amongst retail investors, online message boards, and the tech-tycoon Elon Musk, have all experienced an explosive increase in suspicious domain registrations.

Since January 2021, Dogecoin domain registrations have increased by 744%, while other popular crypto coins, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, have also been susceptible to a total of more than 20,000 domains as of May 2021 – a 163% increase of the first five months of last year. BrandShield’s analysis also showed that crypto trading platforms were a popular target of cybercriminals. 

Coinbase saw the largest number of suspicious domain registrations, with a 324% increase since January 2021, while Binance had the second-largest increase in suspicious domain registrations over the same period with a 123% increase.

BrandShield also ran an analysis related to online cybercrime and fraud committed in the name of crypto-influencers, including Elon Musk. 

The self-proclaimed “Dogefather” had more than 205 fraudulent Facebook accounts impersonating him and leveraging his name to defraud individual investors, as well as on other social platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, and the Russian platform, VK. 

Despite a massive surge in cybercrime related to cryptocurrency and their trading platforms, little is being done by influencers and brands, and criminals are leveraging this situation to attack hard-working investors.

Yoav Keren, co-founder and CEO of BrandShield, said: “As cryptocurrency receives more mainstream coverage, investors of all experience levels are flocking to the alternative i markets, whether to trade assets for the first time or diversify their investments. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that cybercriminals are following the money and targeting retail investors with both increasing frequency and sophistication through a wide array of fraud schemes. Not only is there a responsibility from these social media firms to address fraud on their platforms, but influencers, brands, and cryptocurrencies also have a duty to protect their fans and eliminate fraud by cybercriminals looking to steal millions in their name.”

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8 Jul, 4:30 pm GMT+1 ·Disclaimer

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