LinkedIn Crypto Fraud: As FBI Deems It ‘Significant Threat,’ What Should You Watch Out For?

Andrey Danilovich /

Just as cryptocurrencies continue to grow in popularity, so do related scams to steal a person’s money. And no site is immune to its illicit intent, whether it’s a family-run small business website or even an established market leader and an online job-focused service that specializes in career development and professional networking like LinkedIn.

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According to the FBI, fraudsters who use LinkedIn to lure and steal money from consumers by investing in cryptocurrencies pose a “significant threat” to both the platform and its users. In an exclusive interview with CBNC, Sean Ragan – the FBI’s special agent in charge of the San Francisco and Sacramento field offices – said the agency saw a significant increase in investment-related fraud.

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Most job scams use attractive, hard-to-detect approaches to targeting people who have not worked in order to collect personal information from job forms or resumes on employment websites such as Indeed or Zip Recruiter. And other scams promise guaranteed or easy revenue, for a price.

However, Ragan, the FBI and LinkedIn are tracking a particular scam that involves taking on the appearance of professional employers. They register a fake profile and reach a LinkedIn consumer, then the scammer offers the victim the opportunity to make money with cryptocurrency investments. Or persuade them to turn their investments into time-consuming cryptographic exploitation sites.

Using established sites is nothing new. The more legitimate a criminal can make his scheme appear, the better. People trust LinkedIn. It is a networking platform for reputable companies which, unfortunately, is still susceptible to scammers.

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“So criminals, that’s how they make money, that’s where they focus their time and attention,” Ragan said. “And they are always thinking of different ways to victimize people, to victimize companies. And they spend their time doing homework, defining their goals and strategies, and the tools and tactics they use, “according to CNBC.

LinkedIn acknowledged the increase in what Ragan says, but said he remains vigilant in the fight against fraud on his site, telling CNBC: “We have implemented our policies, which are very clear: fraudulent activities, including financial scams, are not allowed. on LinkedIn “. They added: “We work every day to keep our members safe, and this includes investing in automated and manual defenses to detect and address false accounts, false information and suspected fraud.”

According to a half-yearly LinkedIn report on fraud, 32 million fake accounts were removed from the site in 2021. Between July and December 2021, 96% of all fake accounts, including 11.9 million in the registry and 4.4 million restricted proactively, they were arrested for self-defense measures, by CNBC.

In addition, LinkedIn claimed that its automated defenses captured 70.8 million, 99.1% of spam and scams, in that same time period.

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Still, that hasn’t stopped fraudsters from trying and adapting their methods to soil unsuspecting users of the site. Victims who spoke to CNBC said they lost $ 200,000 to $ 1.6 million to the thieves, and possibly their trust in LinkedIn as well.

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About the author

David Nadelle is a freelance publisher and writer based in Ottawa, Canada. After working in the energy industry for 18 years, he decided to change careers in 2016 and focus full-time on all aspects of writing. He recently completed a degree in communication technician and holds previous university degrees in journalism, sociology and criminology. David has covered a wide variety of financial and lifestyle topics in numerous publications and has experience in text writing for the retail industry.

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