According to the FBI, cryptocurrency scams are doing more and more damage on LinkedIn. Some users have already lost hundreds of thousands of dollars due to this phenomenon that the professional network is doing everything to stem.
In the fascinating and ruthless world of cryptocurrencies, scams are, so to speak, commonplace. It seems that one of the favorite platforms for crypto scammers is LinkedIn. In any case, this is what CNBC reports. FBI agent Sean Ragan made this observation, observing that there are on the professional network *“a lot of potential victims and a lot of past and current victims”.
LinkedIn inspires a little too much trust
The combination is more or less always the same. The scammer pretends to be a professional, creates a profile and contacts another user. Once the conversation settles, flourishing crypto investments are promised. The aura of LinkedIn, which has long proven its value for networking, does the rest and the victims don’t take the time to be suspicious. At first, the fraudster invites his prey to an already established transaction site, but after several months, he invites him to another platform, this time under his control. All that remains is to empty the account down to the last virtual penny.
CNBC cites the case of Mei Mei Soe, a user residing in Florida, who claims to have lost all her savings to a scammer on linkedIn – a tidy sum of $288,000. The usurper presented himself as the director of a fitness company. After months of trading and a well-established confidence, he had invited her to invest on Crypto.com, first with $400. Later, nine transactions were made by the victim to another site in order to grow his investment and open his own business. Scam closed, impossible to contact his interlocutor again.
Up to $1.6 million in losses
Dozens of cases like Mei Mei Soe’s exist, sometimes with scammers claiming to work for big companies with flashy names. Some victims are said to have lost up to $1.6 million, with others finding themselves unable to pay a home or car loan.
The network owned by Microsoft communicated around these cases, recognizing an upsurge in this type of scam. “We enforce our policy which is very clear: Fraudulent activity, including financial scams, is not permitted on LinkedIn. We work every day to keep our members safe, and that includes investing in automated and manual defenses to detect and deal with fake accounts, false information, and suspected fraud. We work with companies and government agencies around the world to keep LinkedIn members safe from criminals. If a member is scammed, we ask them to report it to us and local law enforcement.” Classic crisis management, then.
32 million accounts deleted in 2021
Beyond these elements of language, the brains widen internally to find a way to counter the phenomenon. The platform’s “confidentiality and trust” manager, Oscar Rodriguez, readily admits that the distinction between scams and legitimate approaches is sometimes “incredibly difficult”. He argues for a tactic “proactive member education”which would allow them to “understand the risks they may face”. In a blog post, Oscar Rodriguez recalled that it was very dangerous to send money to strangers, regardless of the platform used, and even more so when the account seems suspicious after a simple examination.
LinkedIn claims to have already removed more than 32 million fake accounts in 2021 alone, 96% of which were spotted by automated defense mechanisms. 127,000 false profiles have been detected by other users, who are very real, and all of them have been eradicated in turn.