Despite the growing popularity of cryptocurrency for the purpose of raising funds amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict, scammers are looking to use the situation to their advantage.
A couple of scamming groups have tried tricking crypto donors by posing as representatives of an authorized crypto exchange with its own Ukrainian fundraising platform.
Millions of Deceptive Emails Sent to Crypto Donors
Based on estimates by cybersecurity experts, millions of deceptive emails using the tactic have been sent out as of now.
In some of the emails, the content looks like a call for help by scammers posing as distressed Ukrainians who are in need of financial assistance.
The rise in such attempts does real damage to the cause of helping Ukraine’s humanitarian efforts. That’s because they make it difficult to tell the difference between real victims in need of help, and fake scammers trying to take advantage of humanitarian organizations.
On social media, users are reporting scam messages by people posing as Ukrainian civilians in need of financial aid. To avoid falling victim to a scam, donors should make sure only to provide funds through official channels authorized by the Ukrainian government.
Dark Web Sees Rise in Messages From Crypto Scammers
Aside from the scam emails and social media posts, various scams soliciting cryptocurrencies are appearing on the dark web.
The dark web is an entire internet network comprising unindexed websites that can’t be accessed via standard search engines and browsers.
Users have to rely on special browsers in order to access the dark web, and for good reason. It is home to all kinds of illegal activities such as black markets for ammunition and illegal drugs.
Additionally, blackhats sell stolen personal data on the dark web for criminals to commit identity theft. Consequently, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that crypto scammers are sending spam messages to trick donors into handing over their funds.
Most of the messages contain links that take the user to a phishing site, which is built to steal the person’s cryptocurrencies.
Governments Announce Restriction on Crypto
Although the mysterious founder of Bitcoin developed the technology to prevent governments from controlling money, the conflict proves that political authorities can have a hold over crypto.
The European Commission launched major sanctions that would target Russia-based crypto wallets that were under the supervision of European crypto firms and exchanges.
Moreover, EU-based blockchain companies were warned not to provide crypto wallet services to Russian citizens and entities. The latest round of sanctions was designed to ensure that the country feels the full force of the economic sanctions implemented.
The latest round of crypto-related sanctions has led to big-name exchanges, like Coinbase and Binance, to stop serving Russian companies and individuals. This was to prevent them from facing a regulatory crash.