Bitcoin scammers extracted $24 million in 2020 alone: report

Upwards of $38 million in bitcoin has been taken over the past four years

Scammers and thieves supposedly made off with around $24 million in Bitcoin in the first six months of 2020, according to reports.

Twitter bot Whale Alert, which tracks large transactions of cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, worked with Scam Alert to produce a “crime reporting, tracking and analysis” report. Bitcoins, as a digital cryptocurrency, verifies every transaction, meaning that any use and exchange of a bitcoin can be tracked.

The initial analysis showed that some $38 million in bitcoin was stolen over the past four years (excluding Ponzi schemes), with $24 million in the first six months of 2020, according to a Medium post.

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Whale Alert noted that some of the “most successful scams” made over $130,000 in a single day with “nothing more than a one-page website, a bitcoin address and a decent amount of YouTube advertising.”

The tracking service highlighted a few of the more successful operations, including “the Giveaway,” which features a celebrity, such as Elon Musk, which can net around $300,000.

“The change in method and the increase in quality and scale suggests that entire professional teams are now behind some of the most successful ones and it is just a matter of time before they start using deepfakes, a technique that will surely revolutionize the scam market,” Whale Alert claimed.

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Deepfake is a technique by which a person’s face or likeness is superimposed over another person in an image or video.

“There are dozens of different types of scams such as giveaways, sextortions, fake exchanges, fake ICO’s, bitcoin recovery, video scams, Ponzi schemes, fake tumblers, malware and the list goes on, but there is one thing all of these scams have in common: for the criminals, there is almost no risk involved while victims’ lives are being destroyed,” Whale Alert wrote in its post.

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Whale Alert projects upwards of $50 million in revenue for scammers by the end of the year.

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