Fraudsters are exploiting the LinkedIn platform to encourage users to invest in cryptocurrency investment schemes.
Significant Threat to User Safety on LinkedIn
Scams are spreading across social media networks. But FBI warns of significant crypto fraud on LinkedIn. There are con artists on LinkedIn who posed as “pros.” The latest diabolical activity they do is enticing unsuspecting investors. Some users have already lost a million dollars after falling into the trap.
The scammers focus on cryptocurrency. They message LinkedIn users to encourage them to invest in cryptocurrency exchanges. With their persuasion ability, many LinkedIn users have fallen victims and been convinced to invest and use the purported platforms that these scammers could control.
Because it’s a scam, their investments have not been returned.
FBI special agent Sean Ragan considered this scam a significant threat.
“This type of fraudulent activity is significant, and there are many potential victims, and there are many past and current victims.”
How does the Scheme Work?
The bad actors have a fake profile on LinkedIn so they can reach out to a LinkedIn user. They message their victims and offer to assist them to make money by investing in crypto. Because LinkedIn is a trusted platform, victims would believe that the investments are legit.
At first, the bad actors would direct their victims on a legitimate platform. After continuously messaging them and gaining their trust, they’ll persuade them to move their investment to a phony site. Once the victims do it, their funds are withdrawn by the fraudsters.
Ragan stated that that is how these bad actors make money. They don’t stop finding ways to victimize LinkedIn users. Moreover, there’s been an increase in this investment fraud. This is different from other scams.
LinkedIn acknowledged that there is an increase in fraud on the platform.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, US cryptocurrency traders have already lost $575 million because of this type of investment fraud.
LinkedIn has been removing suspicious content and accounts that can lead to fraud. Last year, it has pulled more than 136 million spam and scam content on the platform. It has also terminated more than 31 million fake accounts.
Unfortunately, LinkedIn doesn’t have a profile verification process for notable users, unlike Instagram and Twitter. However, it is important to note that verification is not infallible. Twitter has seen verified accounts being abused by scammers.
LinkedIn cautioned its users and ask them to report if:
“People asking you for money who you don’t know in person. This can include people asking you to send them money, cryptocurrency, or gift cards to receive a loan, prize, or other winnings.”
Users are also encouraged to keep an eye out for some signs that can indicate the job posting is inappropriate or fraudulent. If the profile has an abnormal image or incomplete work history, it may indicate that the profile is a bad actor. Then, if there’s no connection in common, it can be a red flag. It’s also a red flag if the person has bad grammar. You should question his/her legitimacy.