The United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued a warning on Monday against the rising number of cryptocurrency scams, leveraging the ongoing fear of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The agency detailed that criminals are targeting people of all ages and using various techniques to trap their potential victims.
The warning also detailed that the scams are not only confined to the online virtual asset service providers, but scammers are also exploiting the vast network of cryptocurrency kiosks spread around the world.
Crypto scams were already a major area of concern among the crime-fighting agencies around the world, and the criminal activities increased with the recent Coronavirus outbreak.
The US agency detailed that the fraudsters are targeting potential victims using blackmails, work from home scams, payment of non-existent treatments or equipment, and even investment scams.
Though all these scams were common before, blackmailers are now threatening people to infect them with the Coronavirus if they do not agree to the extortion terms.
“Although there are legitimate charities, investment platforms, and e-commerce sites that accept payment in cryptocurrency, pressure to use a virtual currency should be considered a significant red flag,” the FBI warned.
Regulators remain alert against rising scams
Apart from the investigation agency, many financial regulators are also warning of crypto-related financial scams, which became rampant with the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) earlier warned investors against fake investment opportunities on stocks related to the COVID-19 cure.
Multiple UK counties, along with several European regulators also warned locals against rising scams using COVID-19 fear. The Coronavirus-related scams spiked 400 percent in March in the United Kingdom compared to the same a month before.