Blockchain analysis firm, Chainalysis has recently issued a report in which it has been found that since March 2020, COVID-19 managed to slash crypto scammers’ revenue by 33%. That said, the firm believes that this doesn’t reflect the entire story.
- The total daily value sent to cryptocurrency scams significantly dropped by 61% within a span of two weeks (March 13 to 31,2020)
- Most scam revenue losses have been associated with investment scams and Ponzi schemes
- Not as many scams in relation to COVID-19 as one would have assumed
Bearing the aforementioned in mind, it turns out that crypto scammers are trying to find different ways to lure and trick investors. The firm has since noted that there are two primary ways in which cryptos scams are currently taking place: phishing and blackmail scams.
What are Phishing and Blackmail Scams?
Scammers who consider phishing simply use email or text messages to lure in investors in giving their personal information. In doing so, they might steal passwords, account numbers and other crucial information that could get one illegally into others’ accounts. Here’s an example shared by Chainalysis:
Figure 1. An example of a phishing scam obtained from Chainalysis’s blogpost.
Then there’s blackmail scams, which are also done through emails or text messages. In this situation, individuals are threatened by scammers who claim to have personal information on the victims.
When the 20 most active Ponzi schemes and investment scams were considered, the total weekly value received, and the number of transfers made supposedly accounted for 94% of all scams in 2020. But since COVID-19, the amount transferred supposedly fell, specifically from Feb 23 to March 29, 2020. While this is reassuring, it seems like one can anticipate Ponzi schemes to eventually go back up as an increasing trend was witnessed between March 29 and April 5, 2020.
According to Chainalysis, this is just part 1 of their analysis on how COVID-19 has been affecting the crypto market and scammers. In a recent tweet posted on March 30, 2020, the blockchain analysis firm confirmed that they will be issuing a second part to this analysis.
How is Covid-19 affecting cryptocurrency? Get our analysis in this 2-part webinar series, April 8 and 15 at 11am ET.
Part 1 examines the pandemic's markets impact, while Part 2 looks at how criminals are trying to take advantage.
— Chainalysis (@chainalysis) March 30, 2020
For those interested in part 2, a webinar titled, “Covid-19 and Crypto Crime” will be live on April 15, 2020 at 11 am ET. Some of the topics that will be emphasized on include, “scams taking advantage of the crisis, ransomware attacks against healthcare providers, and how darknet markets react to a pandemic.” Head of Research, Kim Grauer will be leading this webinar, along with others within the firm, all of whom will also cover ways that the crypto industry can better protect themselves and investors.
To secure a spot, one can start by visiting here.