The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is reportedly saying that crypto-related investment scams on popular professional networking platform LinkedIn are now a serious threat to the public.
According to a new report by CNBC, Sean Ragan, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Sacramento, San Francisco and California field offices, says that crypto schemes over LinkedIn have become more prevalent as of late.
“It’s a significant threat. This type of fraudulent activity is significant, and there are many potential victims, and there are many past and current victims.”
According to the report, fraudsters gain the trust of victims over the course of several months by offering help to make money through the use of legitimate crypto investment platforms.
However, the scammers eventually get victims to move crypto assets into a fake website controlled by the bad actor, which is then drained of all funds, according to the report.
“It’s not their fault that they were victimized. It’s the perpetrator’s fault. It’s the criminal’s fault. They spend their nights and days thinking about ways to victimize and defraud people. That’s how they make their money through illicit gains. And the people that fall victim to it, they’re victims.”
The report says that one investor who was victimized was Mei Mei Soe, a Florida-based benefits manager who lost her entire life savings of $288,000 to a LinkedIn crypto scam.
Says Soe to CNBC,
“He asked me if I’m on LinkedIn for professional networking or if I’m looking for a job. I never trust anybody, but we began talking and over time he gained my trust. He showed me how he’s profiting from his investments and told me I should start investing with Crypto.com, which I know is a legitimate website. I started with $400.”
Soe then says the fraudster convinced her to move her funds to a different website controlled by the bad actor over the course of the next few months before eventually disappearing.
“Once I realized I had been scammed, I tried to contact him but couldn’t find him anywhere. I work hard, and every single dollar I save, I work hard to save that. It hurts.”
LinkedIn recently made an announcement urging users not to send funds to people they don’t know or accounts with questionable work histories.
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