The FBI has issued a warning about cryptocurrency scams on LinkedIn. According to Sean Ragan, the FBI’s special agent in charge of San Francisco and Sacramento, cryptocurrency scams pose a significant threat on the social platform as they can target senior executives.
About the scam
The scams work in a similar manner as on other platforms.
Scammers create professional-looking fake profiles and attempt to strike up conversations with users using the in-built messaging feature.
To win the trust of the users, the scammers initially direct them to a legitimate investment platform. They build a relationship with victims over several months before convincing them to move money to a different cryptocurrency platform that is actually operated by scammers.
Once the victims move their funds to the fraudulent site, the cash disappears along with the scammers.
The FBI notes that this type of fraud is on the rise and draws a parallel with romance scams. In both cases, the end result is the same, loss of funds.
According to CNBC, scammers siphoned off funds ranging from $200,000 to $1.6 million from multiple victims on LinkedIn.
Other forms of scams thriving on LinkedIn
Scammers are also taking advantage of the great resignation scenario to target job applicants on LinkedIn. Such scams soared in recent months, targeting victims across North America and the U.K.
They are impersonating known professionals and are making fake job offers with different subject lines to harvest credentials from victims.
Some of these subject lines read as ‘You appeared in 4 searches this week,’ ‘You appeared in 9 searches this week,’ You have 1 new message,’ or ‘Your profile matches this job.’
Stay safe on LinkedIn
Be cautious of requests for connection from people you don’t recognize. Be wary of people asking for money who you don’t know. This may include sending cash directly, cryptocurrency, gift cards, and prizes. Don’t click on unsolicited email notifications that appear to be from LinkedIn. Instead, check them directly on LinkedIn. Additionally, never share your personal information and banking details with someone you don’t recognize.