Category: Cyber Currency

OneCoin Cryptocurrency Scammer in Court

Mark Scott, a US lawyer accused of laundering proceeds from the OneCoin cryptocurrency – alleged to be a Ponzi scheme scam – went on trial in New York. He was accused of laundering approximately $400 million through hedge funds and transferring that back to his colleagues.

OneCoin claims to be a digital currency similar to Bitcoin and the founders are thought to have raised an estimated $4bn worldwide, including millions from the UK, since it began in 2015.

It was founded in Bulgaria by Dr Ruja Ignatova, who disappeared in 2017 and her brother Konstantin Ignatov, who ran the company in her absence and has since been arrested in the US.

The Sales Pitch

Dr Ruja, told her audience that the future belonged to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, which had made millions for many investors and were free of the high cost of traditional banking.

She offered an alternative – a perfectly safe cryptocurrency of her own devising called OneCoin. She exhorted people to join this financial revolution that would become bigger than Bitcoin within a few years

It is estimated that up to 70,000 people in the UK may have invested with OneCoin and hence lost everything.

It appears to have been a fraud from the beginning as investors trying to retrieve their money found out, when they couldn’t get anything back.

The banks realised it was a scam and stopped doing business with OneCoin. So Ruja moved to using money laundering with people such as Mark Scott.

The officials are keenly trying to find Ruja to put her on trial as well.

If you have any experiences with Onecoin, do let me know, by email.

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Stupidest Scam of the Week Free Cyber Currency

Some time ago there was a scam prevalent on social media which promised to double your money – you simply send Bitcoin to a specified ID and they would return twice the amount to you.

As unbelievably stupid as this sounds – thousands of people did reply and sent money to a stranger expecting to get twice as much back.

The only thing they got a was a shock that it was a scam and this scam circulated for months before disappearing.

It has re-emerged but in email form this time.

The title of the email is “You have received 2700 XLM in your wallet”

XLM is the name a currency run by the Stellar Network and uses Lumens as the name of the coins. It is a competitor to Bitcoin.

The message then explains that you should send $100 worth of Bitcoin to a specific ID and in return you will receive $400 worth of XLM which gives you an instant profit of $300.

Obviously no-one gives away lots of money and it’s a simple scam but sadly some people’s greed and stupidity will lead them to a harsh lesson.

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Domain Name Theft

Your Internet domain name e.g. mybusiness.co.uk can be very valuable and a key part of your business. Without it, online customers won’t be able to find your website or may be redirected without their knowledge to a copycat site.

You may think it’s impossible for someone to take your domain name but it does happen and the scammers are clever in how they do it, leaving you with the difficult task of proving you are the rightful owner.

For a hacker to take your domain name, there are two basic methods:-

  1. They change your DNS configuration, to redirect traffic from your site to their site
  2. They modify your registration contact information, which gives them full control over your domain

A hacker can also change the registration data in the WHOIS database. This then makes it difficult for you to prove that you are the rightful owner. If they have control, then the hacker may also move the domain registration to another registrar which makes it more difficult to get your domain name back.

Q. How Can Hackers Access Your Domain Account?

The most common method is through a phishing attack. They send you emails that look to be from some official body, such as the domain registrar and get you to click a link to their fake website page and use your login and password thus giving them your login credentials.

Alternatively they get your login credentials from a data breach or simply buy the information from another hacker who has employed phishing attacks etc.

Protecting Your Domain

Prevention is the key, rather than planning what to do in the event of such a problem.

Ensure a strong password and that only you know the password for domain control, guard against phishing attacks and anything out of the ordinary regarding your domain.  The most effective control is domain locking.

Domain Locking

You can ‘lock’ your domain, which means that changes will not be allowed unless you ‘unlock’ the domain.  Your domain registrar will do this for you and it’s normally a free service.

Domain locking also stops unauthorised transfer of your domain name to another registrar.

Keep your domain name safe.

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Binance Crypto Exchange Hacked

BINANCE is one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges I.e. an exchange for online currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple etc. .  Hackers patiently built up information and hacked into the services and stole stole 7,000 bitcoin (about $40 million) — but also stole user security codes (two-factor authentication codes and API tokens) which can lead to further thefts.

Binance CEO Zhao Changpeng said “The hackers used a variety of techniques, including phishing, viruses and other attacks”.  “The hackers had the patience to wait, and execute well-orchestrated actions through multiple seemingly independent accounts at the most opportune time. The transaction was structured in a way that passed our existing security checks.”

Binance CEO Zhao Changpeng said “The hackers used a variety of techniques, including phishing, viruses and other attacks”.  “The hackers had the patience to wait, and execute well-orchestrated actions through multiple seemingly independent accounts at the most opportune time. The transaction was structured in a way that passed our existing security checks.”

The  hackers compromised multiple high-net-worth accounts, whose Bitcoin was kept in Binance’s hot wallet—which, unlike cold wallets, are connected to the internet. Anyone who keeps their Bitcoin in a Binance hot wallet should change that immediately.

The hackers got access to security codes for some users and that means they may still control certain user accounts and may use those to influence prices. Binance say they will monitor the situation closely.

Cyber currencies still seem a little like the Wild West and are taking a long time to become mainstream and become as safe as mainstream currency.

If you have any experiences with crypto-currencies do let me know, by email.

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Crypto Currency Scams

Crypto Currencies are the new Internet currencies. They aren’t created by governments or banks but by new organisations seeking to develop (or benefit from) new possibilities in currency transactions and investments.

There are lots of these new currencies but the biggest and most famous by far is Bitcoin.

 

You can see that the value of Bitcoin started at near zero and reached over $2,000 in 2017.

The first ever Bitcoin transaction was the purchase of 2 pizzas for 10,000 Bitcoins.

The price has always been extremely volatile and having reached an all-time high of over $20,000 it crashed to less than $4,000 by the end of 2018.

Scammers usually offer one of the following:-

  1. A guaranteed way to make money betting on the Bitcoin price
  2. Automated “scientific” methods for gambling on Bitcoins e.g. using artificial intelligence
  3. A way to invest in Bitcoin that guarantees you will make lots of money
  4. Bitcoin vending machines
  5. Fake Bitcoin accounts opened in your name

These deals are also offered for other crypto currencies but most people have only heard of Bitcoin so the scammers focus on that one. Plus, there are lots of stories of people who invested a little in Bitcoins and are now millionaires. Some of these are true but as with any form of gambling or investing – past results do not tell you what will happen in the future.

Anyone who invested in Bitcoin in early January 2018 had lost 85% of their money by that Christmas.

The scammers don’t care of course as they only care about themselves and how much money they can steal from people.

Most of the scams are entirely fake – there is no Bitcoin investment or anything else of value and the ones that do actually lead to investment in Bitcoins are usually so highly leveraged as to make it impossible for anyone to benefit except for the scammers.

If you want to invest or deal in Bitcoins or any other cyber currency – take professional advice and be aware that you could easily lose everything.

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