CRYPTO NEWS

LinkedIn Bitcoin Fraudsters Steal Upto $1.6 Million From Victims

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    • Report shows how Linkedin users lost $288k to crypto scammer.
    • The scammer used a decoy by first directing the user to invest in a legitimate cryptocurrency exchange app, crypto.com.
    • LinkedIn removed over 32 million fake accounts from its platform in 2021.

Mei Mei Soe, a Florida benefits manager, lost her entire life savings of $288,000  to a Bitcoin scammer on LinkedIn. This revelation came via a Consumer News and Business Channel (CNBC) report on June 17, 2022.

Soe said someone who posed as a manager at a Los Angeles fitness company connected with her last December. She was intrigued by his offer to help her make money by showing her how he makes money himself from cryptocurrency.

Soe noted the scammer won her trust over time as they talked. The scammer used a decoy by first directing her to invest in a legitimate cryptocurrency exchange app, crypto.com.

She started with $400, and the fraudster later convinced her to move her crypto to a site he controlled. Over several months, Soe invested with bank loans and money borrowed from friend’s hoping to use her earnings to start a small business. By the time she realized it, the scammer had disappeared.

Once I realized I had been scammed, I tried to contact him but couldn’t find him anywhere. I work hard, and every single dollar I save, I work hard to save. It hurts.

Soe’s experience, unfortunately, is a common occurence. Other victims who chose to remain anonymous have losses ranging from $200,000 to $1.6 million. They said they never thought such malicious intent could be behind a LinkedIn profile.

However, LinkedIn cautioned users about responding or sending money to people they don’t know or people with questionable work history. The platform dismissed over 32 million fake accounts in 2021. Likewise, its automated defenses flagged 11.9 million accounts at the registration point and 127,000 reported fake profiles.

Chinese Tech Giants Vow Support Additional Regulations on Digital Collectibles

Chinese tech giants join the state-backed efforts in regulating the digital collectibles by voicing support for the “self-discipline initiative” that ensures identity checks on users, adheres to the country’s ban on cryptocurrency and prevents the speculation of digital assets. Tech Giants Tiptoeing In Line With Authorities According to the statement by the China Cultural Industry::Listen

Chinese tech giants join the state-backed efforts in regulating the digital collectibles by voicing support for the “self-discipline initiative” that ensures identity checks on users, adheres to the country’s ban on cryptocurrency and prevents the speculation of digital assets.

Tech Giants Tiptoeing In Line With Authorities

According to the statement by the China Cultural Industry Association, a state-supervised organization, the initiative has garnered support from domestic tech giants such as Tencent Holdings, Alibaba’s Ant Group, JD.com, and Baidu, which all have deep involvement with digital collectibles in the country.

Known for its anti-crypto stance, China refers to Non-Fungible-Tokens (NFTs) as digital collectibles, which only support the country’s legal tender, Yuan, as the settlement currency. The initiative reiterates such a stance and calls the giants to follow a set of guidelines to assist regulatory efforts.

Under the 14 articles introduced by the initiative, digital collectable platforms are expected to hold relevant regulatory certifications, bolster intellectual property protection, advocate real-name authentications, and avoid establishing secondary markets meant for speculative purposes.

Alibaba-owned South China Morning Post cited a source acquired from the blockchain industry in China, stating that the initiative does not “represent the government’s stance.” Rather, it is an industry-driven attempt to respond to the previous guidelines issued by government-managed industry associations, aiming to prohibit “the financialization of digital collectibles” through securities, insurance, loans, and precious metals.

The Rise of Digital Collectibles in China

Despite the government-issued warnings on the risk of digital collectibles, the number of domestic platforms that offer services in such trading has grown five times from February to June.

Meanwhile, tech firms stepping into this sensitive field in China remain low-key, as they tried not to cross the red line as dictated by the authorities. As expected, they all avoided using the term “NFTs” to describe digital collectibles, as regulatory authorities tend to link NFTs with speculations on cryptocurrencies.

Tencent and Ant Group have private and permissioned blockchains separated from the global NFT markets, mostly built upon layer-one blockchains like Ethereum, Solana, Flow, etc. In compliance with relevant regulatory scrutiny, platforms only let owners treat their assets as digital gifts absent from financial speculations.

LinkedIn Bitcoin Fraudsters Steal Upto $1.6 Million From Victims

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