The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued an official warning about the fraudsters exploiting the increased fears of the COVID-19 pandemic to steal money and launder it through the complex cryptocurrency ecosystem.
According to the FBI, current quarantine measures do not limit abuse, as many sellers began to accept digital assets.
Fraudsters can disguise themselves as sellers of antivirus equipment, remote workers who collect “donations,” and charities that accept cryptocurrencies.
“The stolen money is laundered through a complex cryptocurrency ecosystem,” the agency said.
Abuse may not be limited to this. The Bureau also mentioned traditional methods, but adapted to the current situation, such as blackmailing “the correspondence claims that the writer will both release your information and infect you and/or your family with coronavirus unless payment is sent to a Bitcoin wallet”.
The FBI recommends that Internet users use common sense, verify the legitimacy of suppliers, not disclose bank account information to anyone, and inform law enforcement about blackmail attempts and extortion.
Recall that earlier, the analytical company Chainalysis reported a fall of 33% in the income of cryptocurrency fraudsters during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was partly due to a drop in bitcoin prices. Between March 13 and the end of the month, the volume of transactions received by scammers on average per day fell by 61%