Understanding a Cryptocurrency Scam

The Mount Equity Group head of cybersecurity has sent out an urgent online security alert regarding fraud – with particular reference to cryptocurrency scams.

From their global headquarters in Tokyo, the wealth management firm places as a priority the protection of their clients from any kind of illegal business activity including scams and fraudulent activity. A primary aspect of their active contribution to the ongoing duty-of-care in safeguarding their clients is the identification of any new security threats that emerge. Recent developments in the cryptocurrency markets have led to an incremental increase in cryptocurrency scams, some targeting investors.

With services that extend from portfolio management, offshore investment solutions, and estate planning, to company solutions; Mount Equity Group also acts in an advisory capacity for individual investment ventures. Although their investment plans are created on a case-by-case basis for their clients, this cannot provide a complete line of defense for their patrons against targeted cryptocurrency scams that occur outside of their services. This is why this current cryptocurrency alert is imperative in educating and informing unsuspecting investors of the emergence of various recent cryptocurrency scams.

Many investors are keen to invest in cryptocurrency, touting as motivation the ongoing and latest examples of dramatic surges in the value of some recognized cryptocurrencies. Well known and established cryptocurrencies and digital tokens like Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Tether and Ethereum vie for investor attention alongside over 1000 other cryptocurrencies – all competing in the same global market for customer loyalty. Most valid wealth management schemes do allow for some speculation in the cryptocurrency arena. However, if you are an individual looking to start exploiting the virtual currency market there are several things you need to be aware of. You also need to be aware of the ways cryptocurrency scams work.

FRAUD WARNING

Although valid cryptocurrency does feature inbuilt security measures like coding and anti-counterfeiting technology, it does not offer the same level of insured safety measures as traditional cash (even online payments). As it is a digital currency that can be transacted with few or no intermediaries, like banks or governments, this also leaves it open to fraudulent misuse.

If you are considering purchasing any goods or services and the supplier or vendor requests payment using solely cryptocurrency, this is a potential scam. If you wish to pay for the product you are purchasing with cryptocurrency, always check first that other payment options are also available. Examples could be via direct deposit, credit card payment, bank transfer, PayPal, or other electronic funds transfer methods. Vendors accepting payment exclusively via cryptocurrency could be fake. Impostor websites are easy for cybercriminals to set up and dismantle at a moment’s notice. So always check the tax file number or business registration number valid in the vendor’s jurisdiction before transferring any money. Once you are satisfied the supplier is legitimate then it will usually be safe to pay using your cryptocurrency.

INVESTMENT SCAM WARNING

For investment purposes: if you are interested in or considering participating in a new cryptocurrency that is just being launched, always perform due diligence checks, or consult with your financial advisor first. As much as it can be enticing to get in ahead of the pack when it comes to new venture investment, opportunistic cybercriminals tap into this psychology. Be especially aware of new cryptocurrencies that are launched with an aggressive promotional campaign.

CYBERSECURITY WARNING

An inbuilt security feature of cryptocurrency is the use of what is called blockchain technology, which records and registers all cryptocurrency transactions. The authenticity of the online currency also relies heavily on crypto miners, who act in a similar capacity to auditors. They make sure that transactions aren’t duplicated, thus maintaining the integrity of the cryptocurrency both as barter and as an asset in its own right.

While mining of cryptocurrency is a legitimate and legal enterprise that pays miners in cryptocurrency, the running costs of crypto mining can become high. Costs associated with crypto mining include the running costs of electricity and computer hardware expenses. This is why some cyber criminals use malicious software to infect your computer for crypto-mining purposes. It can run as an unseen background app that you won’t even know about. Except for that it will ultimately slow down your computer.

The unauthorized hijacking of your device for the purposes of mining is an illegal activity. Your best protection is to have the best anti-virus software installed and make sure to keep all your applications updated across all devices. Be super careful about what you click on and do not open any attachments from unknown sources.

Mount Equity Group would like to remind its customers that they will never contact you, either online or via phone, requesting you to share passwords, personal details, or sensitive data related to your identity.