The Bit-o-coin Scam
NEVADA – Famed cryptocurrency fraudster Cryptodarkwolf accidentally created a new cryptocurrency scam, further exploiting a population of consumers whose crypto-FOMO have reached new heights. Cryptodarkwolf, also know as Xander Garrett, was only joking with a victim when he mentioned that her investment would entail purchasing ‘bits of coin.’ He laughed to himself at her question about where to store the coins.
“Ma’am, they are just bits of coin. You can store them anywhere you want,” he responded, maintaining his professional demeanor. Garrett went on to tell her that cut up coins were becoming a hot commodity. “When you send us funds, we utilize that money to purchase and process coins, cutting them into pieces that we then send to you! The coin pieces are the investment that you can cash in at any time you’d like.”
Stifling sinister giggles, Xander Garrett lied his way through the rest of the conversation. Mildred Conifer did not have a chance; she was giddy when she heard that this crypto investment would return 5X within just a few weeks. So many of them are all the same, thought the scammer to himself. I wonder who else would go for this scheme…
It turned out that many would fall prey to Cryptodarkwolf’s “Bit-o-coin Scam.” What started off as an offhanded comment actually appealed to those looking to get into the digital currency markets. All the scammer had to do was to rope the people into thinking they were smart. A lot of those scammed didn’t want to ask questions; they went along with his script and acted as though they understood what he was talking about.
“This is Crypto-FOMO [Fear Of Missing Out] to an extreme,” comments Cryptocurrency Psychologist Doge Maslow. “People do not understand cryptocurrency; all they hear about is the hype around it. And they don’t want to be left in the dust. You got these cryptos going for cheap when they start. Ten years later and they are worth 2,000 times that amount. Combine that with a scammer who will lie and exploit others and you have things like the ‘Bit-o-coin Scam’ being very profitable.”
Fake Survey Finds That Consumers Don’t Have A Good Understanding Of Crypto
In a recent fake study conducted by FraudWit, about 25% of survey respondents claimed to be interested in investing in digitized currencies. Of those interested, 90% stated that they had a good understanding of how cryptocurrency worked. Those who stated they had a good understanding of it were then prompted to take a brief and simple quiz on the topic. 95% of those taking a quiz failed. The point - many people interested in cryptocurrency don't understand it.
“In no way is purchasing cut up coins the same thing as cryptocurrency,” Maslow continues. “If a consumer is actually interested in investing, they need to properly research and understand before purchasing. Furthermore, that purchasing needs to happen through a legitimate entity, not someone who contacts them through social media or over the phone. This should be the case for any investment.”
Penny Cutter’s Mounds Of Cut-up Pennies
Despite Maslow’s warnings, some victims have bought into Cryptodarkwolf’s scheme to the extreme. After defrauding Penny Cutter twice for $2,000, the victim kept contacting Xander Garrett about when the coin would arrive. Garrett decided to send her bags of cut up pennies; he doubled down. Having received what she thought was Bitcoin, Cutter’s fraudulent investments continued. At the $10,000 mark she had a large pile on her living room floor. Garrett continued in sending a portion of the funds he received back in this way, eventually topping out just short of $25,000. Penny found out it was a scam too late, penny pieces scattered all over the floor of her house.
Greed Is A Major Factor In Some Scams
There are many scams in which greed is a major factor that leads to victimization. The idea of winning a foreign lottery one did not enter or receiving an inheritance from an unknown relative are based on a drive for more money. The “Bit-o-coin Scam” and other [real] cryptocurrency scams are much the same way. Someone believes they can make a quick buck and they don’t scrutinize the investment or the person they are doing business with. The Scam Triangle below factors Desperation or Greed as a side. The more desperate or greedy the person, the more likely they are to fall prey, especially with the other sides of the triangle (Hope or Trust and Ignorance or Distraction) are high. Different scam types may have different levels on each side. Understanding The Scam Triangle can help us better understand contributing factors for each scheme.
I hope this information is helpful to the fraud fighters out there who are on the front lines of protecting consumers from scams, however they evolve to exploit people. Hopefully we never see the Bit-o-coin Scam; but if we do we will fight that one too.