Like many other people across the world, South Africans have fallen prey to fraudsters and con artists posing as cryptocurrency gurus who promise them enormous returns on investment, which almost always result in heartbreak.
Although cryptocurrencies trading is a legit business, it has been hijacked by charlatans who use it to defraud unsuspecting victims of their hard-earned monies.
Just on Monday, two individuals were arrested on suspicion of fraud and money laundering.
The complainant was allegedly duped into investing a whopping R34 million in their business two years ago after being promised enormous returns in an alleged cryptocurrency fraud.
The matter is now at the Lenasia Regional court.
How to identify a crypto scam?
Scamsters use a lot of sophisticated tactics to lure their victims into these scams.
- Bitcoin trading is done through third party platforms such as Luno, however, if a purported expert asks you to download a 'specialist software' to put in your investment, bear in mind that they are intent on remotely gaining access to the device in order to secure your personal information that may compromise your banking.
- In a case where you have installed a certain software on the instructions of the fraudster, your device is likely going to freeze because it would have been hacked, it is advisable to switch it off, and if possible call your bank to decline any transaction in the mean time.
- Even if cryptocurrency scams are promoted by well-known figures, the South African Police Services has consistently urged consumers to stay away from investing their hard-earned money in them. Because most of these fraudsters operate remotely, there is a relatively low incidence of prosecution.
What to do
- Stop clicking on links that are unclear to you or that promise high returns at low risk.
- The fact that so many people are falling prey to fraudsters is quite upsetting, but you can easily validate the legitimacy of any organization that may be trying to mislead you into investing by conducting a quick Internet search.
- Most importantly, if something is too good to be true, run!
Of course, dishonest people have tarnished the reputation of cryptocurrency and the entire blockchain technology, but these are real, ground-breaking trade instruments that everyone should embrace.
Have you been the victim of a celebrity-endorsed cryptocurrencies scam?
Drop your thoughts in the comment section below.
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