In a recent crypto crime webinar, Eric Jardine from Chainalysis revealed how scammers adapt their strategies to changes in market situations. While overall crypto scam revenue dropped in 2022, Jardine noted that not all scams behaved similarly. By sub-classing scams into types, he found that scammers were adapting to market conditions and turning to other strategies, such as giveaway and romantic scams, to prey on people’s emotions.
Jardine’s data revealed that as investment scams become less effective, romance and giveaway scams become more prevalent, indicating that scammers are not simply using the same script over and over again. They can adapt and change depending on market conditions. Additionally, Jardine highlighted that a multilevel marketing scam called hyperverse took a massive chunk out of the $5.9 billion lost to scams in 2022, racking up around $1.3 billion, which accounts for roughly 22% of scam revenue in that year.
The rise of romance and giveaway scams during the crypto winter is not surprising as scammers often prey on people’s emotions during difficult times. These scams are designed to target people who are feeling vulnerable and in need of support. Giveaway scams often promise free tokens or coins in exchange for personal information, while romance scams involve scammers posing as potential partners to gain access to victims’ personal information or money.
It’s important to note that these scams are not exclusive to the crypto world and have been used by scammers for years. However, the crypto world provides scammers with a new platform to reach a wider audience and target people who are investing in digital currencies. As the market conditions change, scammers will continue to adapt and find new ways to deceive people.
Investors and consumers must remain vigilant and educate themselves on the latest scams and tactics used by scammers. Platforms and exchanges can also play a significant role in detecting and preventing scams by implementing robust security measures and educating their users. By working together, we can help to mitigate the risks posed by scammers and protect the integrity of the crypto industry.