Since the Indian Supreme Court struck down the curb on cryptocurrency trade in March this year, there has been a surge in Indians investing in Bitcoin. With this, cybercriminals have started mobile-based fake Blockchain-based crypto wallets to lure and con the rich and the wealthy in the country.
These Blockchain-based wallets offer handsome discounts, before conning people of their hard-earned Bitcoin/cash and then going incommunicado.
“I have seen so many wealthy Indian falling into the trap of such fake cryptocurrency wallets in the recent past. One gentleman just came to me who lost $50,000 (over Rs 37 lakh) while dealing with one such fake platform,” said Manan Shah, Founder and CEO of Avalance Global Solutions.
Another Indian business he encountered lost a whopping Rs 28 crore in such crypto wallet scam.
AT A GLANCE
- Many Indians are falling prey to Bitcoin scams online
- The scams entice users to use certain online wallets that are not secured
- Crypocurrency experts assert the importance of researching a wallet’s legitimacy and security beforehand
A single Bitcoin currently costs $11,000 (over Rs 8 lakh) and Indians are now investing in crores aiming for higher returns.
The modus operandi of such fake wallets is simple. They target people via sending them messages on various social media groups, asking them to sell and buy Bitcoin via their apps.
The scamsters trick them to buy and sell Bitcoin via wallets and offer them trade opportunities with other app users across the world. Once they receive Bitcoin into their systems, they disappear and stop communication altogether.
Most of these transactions are happening via Swift Global Pay (SGP), Insta Global Pay (IGP) and International Global Pay wallets.
According to Sumit Gupta, Co-founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange CoinDCX, they expect more cryptocurrency scam apps to emerge.
“Scammers and hackers are getting more sophisticated in their techniques. When installing apps, it is important to stick to some basic security principles, especially when virtual currencies are at stake,” Gupta said.
Users should only trust cryptocurrency-related and other finance apps if they are linked from the official website of the service, and never enter sensitive information such as log-in credentials and account details into online forms unless they are fully certain of its security and legitimacy.
“Do your due diligence on the app on the number of downloads, ratings on the App Store, recommendations from legitimate publications before downloading,” he advised. “In addition, users should keep their devices updated, and use reputable mobile security solutions to identify, block, and remove threats from their devices.”
Bitcoin currency holds the major share in the market today, owing to the growing awareness among the Indian investors, coupled with availability of larger returns is proliferating the market growth.