Cyber security experts have welcomed a new attempt by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to automatically remove fraudulent websites. The trial saw dozens of fraudulent sites, including cryptocurrency scams, taken offline after more than 300 sites were reported.
The ACCC reported that Australians lost $113 million to cryptocurrency fraud last year. The new lawsuit will be in partnership with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and will focus on effectively removing fraudulent websites once reported to Australian regulators to protect potential investors from cryptocurrency fraud.
The ACCC uses the UK’s Netcraft Countermeasures Service, which has provided a similar service to the UK’s National Cyber Security Center for four years.
According to a report by IT News, the sites already removed include “phishing sites pretending to be Australian companies and government authorities,” as well as “puppy scams, shoe scams, online investment fraud, cryptocurrency scams and support technical”.
Ken Gamble, CEO of private intelligence firm IFW Global, welcomed the development. He told Cointelegraph that this was “the best news he’s heard” because he “has seen the damage these sites are being caused by sophisticated scammers using sophisticated digital marketing techniques:”
These cryptocurrency scam sites are unregulated and organized by criminal groups, many of whom are based in Eastern Europe, who run call centers, taking in millions of moms and dads around the world every day.
Gamble said Australian government agencies must also be open to working with the private sector to be truly successful.
“We need law enforcement to engage and work with different countries […] Many of these major cryptocurrency exchanges are not helpful in fraud investigations, which makes our investigations more difficult than necessary.
Scholars and romantics, beware
Gamble said that people searching for cryptocurrency are often targeted with Facebook ads that “lure” them with “professional Hollywood-style videos,” convincing them of how easy it is to make money:
If someone wants to invest $10,000 in cryptocurrency, they need to spend $1,000 to do some due diligence to make sure it is a legitimate platform. […] If it turns out to be a scam, it will be the best $1,000 ever spent.
He said that those who invest in cryptocurrency should do their own due diligence, as many websites are copying larger companies to deceive potential investors. He said potential investors should at least “do some checks to make sure the platform is regulated, with all the correct financial license numbers.”
A representative of Cyber Trace, a team of private investigators specializing in crypto fraud, told Cointelegraph that “romantic solicitation” is the most common cryptocurrency scam.
This involves victims talking to an online romantic interest that helps them sign up for a major cryptocurrency exchange after telling the victim that they have made “great returns on investment.”
The scammer will then ask the victim to send a “small amount of up to $200” to his platform, where he will “adjust the numbers on his end to show the victim that he has already made a profit, by offering to withdraw that amount.” Earn their trust. »
Once the victim realizes how easy it is to take profits and withdraw his money, he starts investing “more and more…and doesn’t withdraw much beyond this point.”