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Cryptocurrency Now a Popular Means for Fraud in the Philippines

Cryptocurrency Now a Popular Means for Fraud in the Philippines

As a new way to invest, cryptocurrency has attracted a lot of attention. It avoids the inflation / central bank risk of holding paper fiat currency, and offers increased privacy.  But there are risks, and scammers are preying on people’s lack of knowledge about bitcoin investments and how they work, especially young people.

In the Philippines, cryptocurrency fraud schemes are trendy, especially after the pandemic measures forced thousands of people to stay home and search for a new way of living. Just like in the past with boiler room scams, cryptocurrency has become a very popular means for fraud.  Crypto and Bitcoin help scammers and online criminals get paid.

Scams involving cryptocurrency investments can take numerous forms, but they all involve false claims and guarantees. Scammers may set up investing sites that appear legitimate, but people won’t be able to withdraw the money they thought they were investing. That’s when they realize they’ve been a victim, and it’s too late to recover it.

Some scammers pose as celebrities of the entertainment, technology or business world and offer deals that promise to multiply their cryptocurrency assets. Others use online dating services to get people to invest in phony cryptocurrency, all in the name of love. “Whichever is the case, it is important to know evidence is the only thing that can save you from a scam,” says Kellie Greenwood, Director of Due Diligence at Philippine PI.

If you’re considering investing, making payments or sending money in Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies to someone in the Philippines, keep the following in mind.

Before you accept a deal, do your homework.

Request information regarding the company or person you’re dealing with. Get a name, contact information, if possible other details like employment, credentials, date of birth or even ID copies. Once you have the data, you can hire a professional Philippines private investigator to verify the facts and get evidence. You’ll know if it’s a bogus deal if the person’s claims cannot be confirmed by a professional.

Be skeptical of promises that seem too good to be true.

Scammers frequently promise that you will make money quickly, that you will receive large rewards, or that you will receive assured returns. They may even offer free money in cash or cryptocurrencies, but don’t fall for it, especially if it comes with a celebrity endorsement.  Sending money to someone in Bitcoin can be high risk.

Never trust demands of crypto-only payments

The fact that virtual currencies are preferred by scammers should be enough to set off the alarm. If a company or person you are dealing with says they only accept crypto, then that is not a good sign about their credibility. A company background check investigation can help you confirm if it is a legitimate business or a fake, and if you think you require more evidence, you can also take advantage of surveillance. A private detective in Manila can conduct a local investigation and verify the operations of said business.

Social Media and Cryptocurrency are not a good combination

Most scams nowadays are advertised and promoted through social media. Accounts can be set up in minutes and they are just as anonymous as the cryptocurrency users, so there is no way to track the fraudsters down.  Get evidence first, then decide.

Crypto and Bitcoin might be trendy, but it’s no risk free.  If you have been communicating with someone in the Philippines and crypto is involved, contact us.

C. Wright
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