Here's how Porn Sites are Being Used as Part of a Tactic to Pull off Crypto Scams

Here's how Porn Sites are Being Used as Part of a Tactic to Pull off Crypto Scams
Cover Image Source: A Bitcoin ATM | Getty Images | Photo by Michael M. Santiago

Porn consumption may not be an unusual thing for people who spend time online, but at the same time people prefer to maintain privacy around the adult content that they have been browsing. Hackers are known to blackmail netizens for money after accessing their private information or taking control of their devices. One such scam involves displaying a deceptive message on the victim's home computer, alleging "suspicious charges" on their bank account. Scammers also warn victims against contacting the bank's fraud department or law enforcement, threatening to put them on a list of predatory offenders using charges related to PornHub. Shockingly, scammers seem to possess detailed knowledge of victims' financial information, including balances in their savings and checking accounts, and even provide images of bank ID cards bearing the victim's name, per Bring Me The News.

A close-up of a Bitcoin ATM | Getty Images | Photo by Matthew Horwood
A close-up of a Bitcoin ATM | Getty Images | Photo by Matthew Horwood

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Under the guise of resolving the purported fraudulent charges, victims are instructed to withdraw substantial sums of money from their bank accounts and deposit them into Bitcoin ATMs located at gas stations. Once the funds are converted into Bitcoin, victims are directed to transfer the digital currency to the scammer's wallet using a QR code, effectively making the transaction irreversible.

Unfortunately, this fraudulent scheme has resulted in significant financial losses for victims who fall prey to the scam. The Blaine Police Department has emphasized the importance of raising awareness about this scam to prevent further financial harm to residents. "We hope by sharing these details, you can be aware of this potential scam trend and protect yourself," stated Blaine police. They further advised residents to be cautious when approached about fraudulent charges, urging them to initiate direct contact with their bank and refrain from clicking on suspicious links or contacting provided phone numbers in unsolicited emails.

Unsplash | Photo by General Bytes
Bitcoin ATMs (representative image) | Unsplash | Photo by General Bytes

 

 

In a similar case, a group of five American citizens is under investigation for an alleged $30 million cash-for-bitcoin scam in New York. An investigative report by 404 Media has shed light on the illicit scheme, which reportedly involved laundering digital currencies like Bitcoin into cash through illegal means.

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According to the investigation, the syndicate operated outside the bounds of legal online exchanges such as Coinbase by orchestrating clandestine transactions where individuals exchanged large sums of cash for Bitcoin on street corners. The accused individuals, Shaileshkumar Goyani, Brijeshkumar Patel (aka Samir), Hirenkumar Patel, Naineshkumar Patel, Nileshkumar Patel, and Raju Patel (aka Jay) are alleged to have masterminded the illegal Bitcoin exchange, evading legal scrutiny with sophisticated criminal tactics.

The operation came to light in April 2021 when the FBI uncovered a vendor on dark web marketplaces offering Bitcoin-to-cash exchanges via the U.S. Postal Service. Subsequent investigations led to the arrest of an individual acting as a courier, who revealed crucial details about the operation as a confidential source for the FBI. Undercover FBI agents participated in controlled cash pickups, uncovering transactions ranging from $100,000 to $300,000 occurring three times a week. The investigation traced the operation's activities across multiple states, including New Jersey, Massachusetts, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.

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