A special agent of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, working for offices in the cities of San Francisco and Sacramento, California, reported an increase in cases of cryptocrime in social networks. Sean Ragan told CNBC that crypto scams pose a particularly serious threat to LinkedIn, where “there are already many victims and potential victims.” An FBI agent told how crypto scammers operate. Usually the scammer pretends to be a professional investor.
After getting to know the victim online, he moves on to an offer to make money by investing in cryptocurrencies. Communication can last for months. After gaining the trust of a LinkedIn user, the perpetrator convinces the victim to invest in a resource he controls, and then empties the user’s wallet. According to the FBI, losses from LinkedIn scams can range from $200,000 to $1.6 million per victim.
Agent Ragan said the FBI is actively investigating, but could not yet comment on unsolved cases. The LinkedIn team has officially acknowledged that there has been an uptick in scams on its platform lately: “We work every day to ensure the safety of our users. We have automated and individual protections, tools to detect and eliminate fake accounts and false information, effective fraud prevention methods.”
While LinkedIn is not prepared to give an estimate of how much money has been stolen from users of the platform, the social network says it has deleted more than 32 million fake accounts in 2021. The FBI clarifies that the majority of crypto scammers work from accounts registered in Southeast Asia. In March, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) proposed a global ban on social media content that encourages investment in cryptocurrencies.