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The rise in popularity and price of bitcoin has led to greater instances of scams perpetrated through social media, according to a new report.
Released by ZeroFOX, the report categorizes these new types of scams, collecting data from the point at which bitcoin became worth more than 1 ounce of gold in early March. In total, the company said it identified 3,618 bitcoin scam URLs, which were shared on average 24 times per day during the observation period.
The paper goes on to claim that curated bitcoin scam URLs had been shared over 126 million times in total. Excluding two major outliers, each identified URL was shared on average of 5,367 times since its creation.
Of the scams identified, the first involves sending malicious URLs, the second centered on the phishing bitcoin private keys, while a third scheme, known as the ‘bitcoin flipping scheme,’ saw investors be sent promises of irregularly high returns on their bitcoin after they paid an initial upfront fee.
The final scheme was classified as a bitcoin pyramid scheme, essentially a high-yield investment Ponzi scams that require a low initial investment.
The report further included a number of recommendations for bitcoin users.
ZeroFOX advised bitcoin users refrain from helping anyone mine bitcoin, noting that cloud mining contracts historically underperform the gains seen by simply holding the digital currency in a private wallet.
The firm also recommend avoiding transactions that begin via direct messages on social media platforms.
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