SCAM OF THE WEEK: #Bitcoin-Hostage-Videos

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An elaborate new Bitcoin scam targets Instagram influencers and their followers. In this scam, cybercriminals send an influencer a phishing link that takes them to a fake Instagram login page. If the influencer tries to log in to their account, their login credentials are sent directly to the cybercriminals. Once the cybercriminals have access to the account, they can change the password and prevent the influencer from logging in. 

Then, the cybercriminals offer to release control of the influencer’s account if the influencer creates a very specific video. In the video, the influencer must say they invested a small amount of money into Bitcoin and gained a huge payout. They must also tag and thank the Instagram account that belongs to their “friend” who helped them invest. Of course, this “friend” is actually the cybercriminal holding their account hostage. Once the video is created, the cybercriminals post it to the influencer’s Instagram page for all their followers to see. The end goal is for these loyal followers to send bitcoins to the cybercriminals under the assumption that they will be making an investment, just like the influencer did. 

Here are some tips to stay safe from similar influencer scams:

  • Hijacking a social media account is an easy way for cybercriminals to spread disinformation or scam several people at once. Don’t trust everything you see on social media, and be sure to report any suspicious activity. 
  • To the general public, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are still very new and complex. Before you buy coins, learn more about cryptocurrency from well-known and trusted sources. 
  • Never trust a get-rich-quick scheme. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Stop, Look, and Think. Don’t be fooled.
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Office: 832-295-1411

Stop, Look, and Think. Don’t be fooled.

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