Bitcoin scammers. How hackers deceive people with the help of cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrency fraud has appeared almost since the very beginning of the industry. Scammers quickly realized how to deceive people who do not understand the subject, but want to become owners of digital assets. Some sold souvenir coins, passing them off as bitcoin, others pulled off more cunning deals. We will tell you about the most interesting and popular stories of deception in this article.

Gypsy bitcoin or you should not trust everyone you meet

In October 2017, one of the residents of Obninsk wanted to become a crypto investor. One day, he was going about his business and came across a group of gypsies who were standing outside a local department store. According to him, they did not look like typical gypsies with chains hanging from them. They were decently dressed and gave the impression of intelligent people. The gypsies offered the man to become the happy owner of a cryptocurrency, namely, bitcoin. After a short conversation, they convinced him that soon bitcoin will become much more expensive, and therefore the man will become very rich. Our hero decided to buy two bitcoins for one thousand rubles. Happy, he returned home and told his wife everything. His wife reacted with disbelief to his story, but remained silent. Over the next two months, the digital asset really began to get more expensive very quickly, and in December, the man wanted to understand how to cash out his bitcoins. Only this was not destined to come true. As it turned out, he bought two souvenir coins with the symbols of the first cryptocurrency. His wife decided to write a post about this on a social network and attached photos of these coins. Many users laughed at the credulity of the man, but there were also those who had never heard of cryptocurrency at all.

Paper with a key for 1.5 million

The next case occurred with a Krasnodar businessman. In the same 2017, the businessman wanted to become the owner of digital gold. In the social network, he found a crypto trader with whom he was able to negotiate the purchase of the first cryptocurrency. The trader even made a 5% discount to the entrepreneur. As a result, we agreed that the businessman will purchase a cryptocurrency in the amount of 1.5 million rubles, and the transaction will take place at the Pulkovo airport in St. Petersburg. However, the crypto trader did not come to a personal meeting, but sent an intermediary instead. In the terms of the transaction, it was said that the buyer must first transfer the entire amount to three bank cards, after which the intermediary will give him a paper with the key to the crypto wallet. The conditions were met, with one exception – the key to the crypto wallet turned out to be a fake. The businessman wrote a statement to the police and law enforcement agencies opened a criminal case. They were able to find an intermediary, it turned out to be a lawyer who claimed that he did not really know anything about the transaction. And the crypto trader himself was never found. Thus, a businessman from Krasnodar bought paper with ink for 1.5 million rubles.

Tricky sale

In the vastness of the network, there is another way to deceive gullible people. There is a whole strategy at work here. A fraudster on various sites places some popular product, for example, an iPhone, at a very attractive price. After the buyer is found, the attacker looks for the seller of the crypt. The crypto trader sends the details of the bank card to the fraudster, and he, in turn, sends them to the buyer of the iPhone. The buyer, without knowing it, sends money to the crypto trader, and the fraudster receives the cryptocurrency. As a result, everyone is happy, except for the iPhone buyer, who will be left without the device.

There were also a number of fake exchange platforms. The victims made a transaction to these sites in order to convert fiat into crypt or vice versa. After that, the services gave out an error and the investors were left without their savings. When the platform collected a sufficient amount of money, it was closed, and a new one opened after it. Such services were widely distributed in the CIS countries.

An experienced crypto investor can treat with irony the above-mentioned people who lost their money due to excessive credulity. After all, you need to trust only trusted sources, right? However, even an experienced investor can fall into the hands of scammers who will hide under the mask of a well-known “brand”.

In December of the same 2017, one crypto investor decided to use the services of a well-known crypto exchange, but fell for his “mirror”. As a result, he sent 15 thousand rubles to the attackers. Unfortunately, this practice is still popular among scammers today.

Are Government agencies trying to protect people from such scammers?

It is impossible to give an unambiguous answer to this question. Basically, the state authorities are limited only to warnings and requests to be careful. Regulators usually fight against intruders. So, at the beginning of this year, the British FCA warned its citizens not to trust 100% cryptocurrencies, because it may happen that an investor will lose his savings.

The DFSA regulator, located in the United Arab Emirates, urged its residents to be more attentive when they want to start investing in cryptocurrencies. As for Russia, the Central Bank is dealing with such issues here. For example, a list of fraudulent organizations was compiled this summer. Among them, there were companies that specialize in digital assets. So MMM Bitcoin and Finiko were recognized as financial pyramids.

Analytical services, such as Whale Alert, are also engaged in tracking fraudulent organizations. The data obtained by the service says: for the first half of 2021, the attackers managed to earn $18 million. It is worth noting that for the whole of last year, this amount was less and amounted to $16 million.

How to protect yourself from scammers

You should not trust offers from unknown or suspicious organizations that offer to purchase a digital asset from them with any discount. If you agree to such an offer, then, most likely, you will fall for the bait of scammers. This also applies to newsletters that come to e-mail or messengers. There may be tempting offers that are difficult to refuse. Also, in the letter, they can be represented by reputable companies and attach a link to the supposedly official website of the organization. But as we remember, the site may turn out to be a “mirror”. In order not to fall for such a trick, you should use only verified links. Remember that if a company offers a fixed and guaranteed income, then you need to bypass such an offer. Such guarantees are most often given by dubious financial organizations.

Due to the fact that there are many newcomers in the cryptocurrency industry, they are not aware of how everything works. This is used by scammers. Therefore, in order to protect yourself, it is worth improving financial literacy and delving into the understanding of the blockchain. Then, if you come across a fraudster, you will immediately understand what’s what.


It is always necessary to check everything well before accepting an offer for any transaction. Do not buy coins from your hands or from questionable sources. It is best to use time-tested cryptocurrency exchanges or exchangers. Always think about your security on the Internet, then it will be difficult for scammers to deceive you.

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