With the growth of cryptocurrency a new market of cryptocurrency fraud has opened for criminals. From hackers trying to hack into crypto accounts to crypto mining. You may be a victim of cryptocurrency crime and not even know it!
If you are a an investor or want to opening your first crypto trade, you must know the security risks involved. If nothing else, it’ll help you prevent, identify, and limit the potential damage.
Cryptocurrency Fraud: A Modern Day Financial Epidemic
When thinking about crypto currency, most people naturally consider Bitcoin, which burst onto the scene in 2009 and grew at an exponential rate to reach highs of over $20,000 per coin in 2017. In the decade since BTC’s release, over 4,000 decentralized altcoins have been launched. Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin et al. Have helped the industry become a multi-billion dollar industry.
The vast sums of money and assets highlight the main reason why hackers are keen to target investors. After all, their potential rewards are huge. However, there are many other reasons why hacking crypto is so attractive, including:
- Everything is online and decentralized. Fraudsters can do everything remotely while it’s difficult for victims to recover funds too.
- Many investors rarely check their crypto wallets or funds, seeing them as long-term investments, which means it can be months before they realize fraud has taken place.
- People promote Crypto currency as a safe and secure investment. This often lulls people into a false sense of security and results in inadequate security measures.
- Many investors handle their crypto activities via smartphone devices, offering fraudsters an additional route to successful hacks.
- Criminals and hackers may like to use Bitcoin for payments relating to unlawful activities due to the decentralized properties.
Unsurprisingly, Cryptocurrency fraud has grown parallel to the growth of the industry itself. According to the 2018 McAfee Labs Threats Report, Crypto mining grew by 4,000% in 2018. A similarly mind blowing statistic, CipherTrace has reported that Q1 of 2019 saw crypto fraud grow to more than $1.2B.
While it has been announced that global anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terror financing (CTF) regulations are high on the agenda for global cybersecurity, there’s no doubt that individual cybersecurity personnel need to take responsibility by making safe crypto trading for clients a priority.
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