The financial regulatory agency of the United States state of Vermont, the Department of Financial Regulation (DFR), has issued a warning to citizens against crypto investment frauds on popular social media sites. This comes in response to a recent incident where a 74-year-old man named Naum Lantsman lost his life savings of $340,000 to a crypto scam orchestrated over Instagram and Telegram. The DFR has stressed the importance of exercising extreme caution and vigilance when using or investing in cryptocurrency.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Instagram has been rated as the top platform connected to crypto fraud, which is true in the case of Lantsman. He initially came across a post from SpireBit claiming to be an “international financial broker” dealing in cryptocurrencies on Instagram, and created an account without conducting any research or investigation into the platform. A SpireBit representative contacted Lantsman over Telegram and coerced him into investing over several days, ultimately resulting in a loss of over $340,000 after starting with a $500 investment.
On fake platforms like SpireBit, the dashboard shows profits on every trade, which encourages investors to put in more money. It is important to be cautious and conduct proper research before investing in any crypto platform to avoid falling victim to these types of scams.
Even though he had heard about crypto scams in the past, Lantsman never anticipated becoming a victim himself. The Vermont Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) attributes the increase in crypto scams to the crafty tactics employed by con artists, who continuously develop more intricate and personalized methods of deception.
These scammers employ various techniques, including forging bank documents and engaging victims in friendly conversations. To combat these tactics, it is crucial to remain vigilant and conduct thorough background checks.
Vermont residents are urged to promptly report any instances of fraud in order to minimize financial damage and assist in the apprehension of criminals.
Eun Young Choi, director of the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team at the U.S. Justice Department, acknowledged the significant issue posed by decentralized finance hacks, particularly with the rise of North Korean state-sponsored hackers.
Choi also restated that the Justice Department is pursuing crypto firms that either engage in criminal activities or overlook attempts to conceal the trail of transactions.