The bear market didn’t just hit investors. Also the proceeds for crypto scammers fell quite a bit, with 46 percent to be exact. Scammers were therefore forced to adapt to market conditions. A study by analytics platform Chainalysis reveals how crypto scammers’ tactics have changed during the bear market.
Crypto scammers adapt
The three main categories of crypto scams are as follows: investment scams, giveaway scams and romance scams. According to Eric Jardine of Chainalysis, the fall of Terra (Luna) in the summer of last year completely changed the scam industry. Crypto users became more hesitant to invest, and scammers responded to this.
“There appears to be an adaptation from scammers, and market conditions seem to have made investment scams less profitable. They seem to be switching their tactics for scams that focus more on the emotional side.”
Thus Jardine. The previously popular investment scams were no longer as effective. After the fall of Terra, the category of romance scams rose very quickly, according to the study.
In romance scams, scammers exploit the naivety and ignorance of vulnerable individuals. Through online dating websites, for example, people are hooked and led into a trap.
Vulnerable individuals targeted
For example, last month we spoke about an elderly British woman who lost 200,000 euros in such a love scam. The 70-year-old woman met a man posing as a doctor in the US army through a dating website. The relationship soon took on romantic forms, and with lies and tricks the woman was cheated of a lot of money.
The scammer instructed her to transfer money via bitcoin (BTC) ATMs several times. When the woman found out after two years that the man was actually a Nigerian scammer, the damage was already done. Unfortunately, this woman is one of countless vulnerable individuals who fall victim to romance scams over the Internet.
In addition to the increase in romance scams, where scammers pose online as a potential lover in need of money, the number of giveaway scams has also increased. These scams promise free crypto tokens. However, victims are asked to provide sensitive information and are then robbed.
The moral of the study is that scammers adapt, constantly using new tactics to profit based on current market conditions. So be alert!