A new trend of cryptocurrency fraud has been identified on Instagram in Sweden, on several Instagram pages it can be noticed a consequent number of high value items from Gucci to Louis Vuitton and even Apple, all of it at discounted price in a range of 50 to 300 euros.
The trick here is that users have to transform their physical currencies into cryptocurrencies and then transfer it to the online merchant. However, once the buyer has sent the requested amount in cryptocurrencies, the announcer disappears with the money and the expected item is never delivered to the buyer. The fraud has been continued despite being reported several time to the authorities.
The Fraud is mainly aiming at migrant and young people
After the report of several of this scam cases to the authorities, the Instagram aimed advertisement is displaying a very distinctive scheme. The most part of their targets are people aged less than 25 years old or migrant workers with low income looking to afford high value items at cheap costs.
The fraudsters, in most cases, create a new profile on Instagram with an already populated base of followers and as soon as the customers transfer the requested amount, the fraudsters rely on old tricks such as saying to the customers they are having problems in transferring money through different bank accounts and countries.
The fraudsters say to the buyer that there is a long waiting queue to get the wished items due to the low price and thus they have to transfer the money to reserve their product, this compulsion for getting a high value item at very low cost make the vulnerable buyer to transfer very quick the requested amount and as soon as the money is transferred on the scammer account, the Instagram profile is deleted.
Those Instagram scammers generally get in touch with their targets buyers via direct message and once the money transferred they stop answering direct messages or even delete the profile.
Authorities think that Instagram users should pay a very careful attention about their cryptocurrencies transfer and check every detail of the deal proposed by the Instagram seller in exchange of crypto. One of the reason why fraudsters chose to use Instagram as an operating platform is due to the fact that Instagram have almost no customer support service. There are no emails nor contact addresses to message and report an account to the company. Consequently, it is very easy for fraudsters to fly away with their scam.
Cryptocurrency scams have become more and more common, what are the strength of crypto: decentralization and anonymity have turned out to be constraints in these specific cases. Nonetheless, like with every new technology, users have to be very careful with their access, especially online.
Do not entrust any pattern or service which looks way too good to be real, and never ever send your cryptocurrencies to someone not clear and looking in rush.
Editor of IMD News