Bitcoin Scammers Have Stolen $24 Million in First Half of 2020: Whale Alert Report
In the first six months of 2020, scammers made off with about $24 million in bitcoin, as per the Twitter bot Whale Alert's latest report.
These scams involved giveaways, sextortion, fake exchanges, fake ICO's, bitcoin recovery, video scams, Ponzi schemes, fake tumblers, malware, and so on.
Over the past four years, $38 million worth of Bitcoin has been stolen by scammers (excluding Ponzi schemes), out of which $24 million belongs to the first half of this year alone.
The scam market, which is characterized by high profits, no taxes, minimal effort, and zero risks, will be “grown over twenty-fold since 2017 to annual revenue of at least 50 million US dollars” by the end of 2020, predicts Whale Alert.
Whale Alert noted that the “most successful scams” made more than $130,000 in a single day with just one-page website, a BTC address, and YouTube advertising. One scam managed to rake in over $1.5 million over six months, promoting a fake exchange with an amateurish website riddled with spelling errors.
The “Giveaway” is another successful one that features celebrities like Elon Musk, netting around $300,000.
According to the crypto tracker, it's only a matter of time that a professional team of scammers will start using systems like deep-fakes. The latter being a technique where a person's face is superimposed over another person in an image or video, which it says “will surely revolutionize the scam market.”
The origins and destination of these scam proceeds have been traced to some of the top exchanges, payment providers, and gambling sites who willingly or unknowingly participate in these crimes.
It is high time that we act as a community, or “the reputation of blockchain might not be able to recover in the long run,” said Whale Alert.