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FTC Warns of Rise in Bitcoin Blackmail Scams

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is attempting to combat bitcoin blackmail scams by offering consumers advice through its website.

In a bulletin published on Aug. 21, the FTC Division of Consumer and Business Education posted a sample quote from a typical BTC blackmail scam:

“I know about the secret you are keeping from your wife and everyone else. You can ignore this letter, or pay me a $8600 confidentiality fee in Bitcoin.”

Notably, the sample doesn’t specify the nature of the “secret”, which is a common tactic employed by scammers who use sweeping generalisations in the hopes that someone’s guilty conscience will get the better of them and cause them to panic and pay up, unaware that the scammer has just sent out hundreds or thousands of such emails indiscriminately.

In January CCN reported a similar scam targeting victims with paper mail through the U.S. Postal Service. The scammer or scammers accused their many targets of having extramarital affairs, hoping that a few people coincidentally guilty of infidelity would send them bitcoin to “keep quiet.” As CCN reported, the scammers may have been aware that an estimated one in five spouses have committed infidelity at some point.

bitcoin blackmail
In one implementation of a common bitcoin blackmail scam, the fraudster is conducting the scheme through the U.S. Postal Service

The FTC post deals specifically with a scam accusing men of infidelity, citing threats, high-pressure tactics, and intimidation as classic signs of a scam and urging vigilance. A linked post called ten things you can do to prevent fraud deals with advice from the FTC on the matter.

The government organization advises consumers to avoid sending personal information to strangers making unexpected requests, something increasingly difficult to do in the modern age. Further advice is to conduct online searches of any suspect organizations including the words “scam” or “review” in the search engine to see if other people have complained about the group asking for information.

Paying upfront for promised reward is also a classic mistake to make in a scam, as well as depositing a check which may later bounce and leave the victim liable. The FTC warns people that caller IDs can be spoofed these days and advises that people simply hang up on phone calls including a pre-recorded sales pitch. Free trial offers are often scams aimed at gathering credit card details, and the method of payment is also telling: methods that offer the victim no recourse in terms of a refund (such as Western Union or cryptocurrency) are often used by scammers.

Finally, the FTC advises people to talk to someone they trust before sending money to strangers and to sign up for the free scam alerts email service the organization offers to help prevent fraud.

More and more bitcoin scams have been cropping up recently, with one in Hawaii threatening to disconnect the victim’s utility services unless a phony bill is paid. CCN reported yesterday that a South Korean businessman recently lost $2.3 million in a Bitcoin to Fiat p2p scam.

With scammers becoming increasingly more inventive with their methods, it’s important to stay vigilant. A group of blockchain companies recently established a Crypto Community Watch group with a 100 BTC reward designed to incentivize whistleblowing and consistent reporting of scams in the cryptocurrency space.

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Bitcoin price prediction: BTC/USD confluence detector shows lack of resistance and support levels

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  • The daily confluence detector shows one healthy support level at $10,075.
  • BTC/USD has gone down from $10,110 to $10,092.

The hourly BTC/USD price chart shows us that the price dropped from $10,130 to $9,815 this Thursday. The bulls then gathered momentum before it picked up to $10,190, meeting resistance. Since then, BTC/USD has been on a continuous downtrend and is currently trending around $10,092.

BTC/USD daily confluence detector

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The daily confluence detector shows only one prominent resistance and support level. The $10,500 resistance level has the 5-day simple moving average (SMA 5) curve. The $10,075 support level has the 1-month 23.6% Fibonacci retracement level, SMA 10, 1-hour Bollinger band middle curve and 4-hour previous low.

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Bloomberg Says Bitcoin Could be Finding Support at $10,000 as Altcoins Rebound

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Yesterday, Bitcoin (BTC) suddenly slipped. After tapping $11,000 just days earlier, the cryptocurrency cratered, falling under $10,000 as bulls failed to step in.

This move was so dramatic that according to the Bitcoin Fear and Greed Index, this sudden reversal has resulted in a reading of five — the index’s lowest value in its history. This is crazy, especially considering that BTC is trading over 300% higher than its bottom price of $3,150.

Bloomberg Says Bitcoin Could be Finding Support at $10,000 as Altcoins Rebound 1

While the index’s reading may seem entirely arbitrary — just look at the bullish momentum Bitcoin has experienced in the first half of 2019 — the index is backed by data.

The website that hosts the index claims it analyses a fair mix of volatility, market momentum and volume, social media trends, surveys, dominance, and Google Trends to get the gist of how cryptocurrency investors are faring.

Bitcoin Bounces Back

But, the Bitcoin price has managed to bounce back. After remaining under $10,000 for a number of hours, the cryptocurrency managed to reclaim five digits.

Per Bloomberg, the cryptocurrency “appears to be gaining momentum for a push higher”. The analyst recently claimed that as BTC recently dropped “below the lower limit of its GTI Vera Band Indicator, which measures up and down trends”, a spike to the upside may be ahead. The last four times the bottom band was breached, “it managed to quickly rally back into the range”.

According to Mike McGlone, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, Bitcoin is currently setting itself up for a recovery. He explained in a note that its “unique attributes” (likely a reference to its classification as a digital store of value/digital version of gold) and tumult on the macroeconomic stage could help boost the value of Bitcoin. Indeed, many say that if trade wars continue to rage and if central banks continue to enlist unorthodox monetary policy, the need for a form of money that is decentralized, scarce, borderless, and public will only swell.

While McGlone is bullish for the medium term, he told Bloomberg TV in a recent interview that his short and long-term prospects on the cryptocurrency are mixed.

Per previous reports from Ethereum World News, McGlone argued that with there being key support at $8,000 and heavy resistance at $20,000, the cryptocurrency could be stuck in that range “endlessly”. He added that on-chain fundamentals — active addresses, number of daily transactions, fees, and so on and so forth — have begun to taper off like they did to trigger 2018’s bear market.

Altcoins Finally Gain Some Steam

Interestingly, throughout this short-term recovery, altcoins have bounced, actually outperforming Bitcoin for once.

According to CoinMarketCap, Bitcoin dominance has fallen to 68.5% from nearly 70%. Ethereum is up 3.5% on the day, while BTC is up a relatively mere 0.2%. It’s a similar story across the cryptocurrency rankings.

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Bitcoin Vs. Ripple: Amidst the Bearish Trend, The Coins Gave Some Brief Moment of Trading

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There is a close link between the movement of Bitcoin and Ripple. Both of them are strong coins with a dedicated community of users. At present, they are facing some negative sentiments, but this will wash off soon.

Current Statistics (On August 22 at UTC 08:38):

ParametersRipple (XRP)Bitcoin (BTC)
Price (USD)0.26329929.91
ROI4,401.02%7,270.70%
Market Rank3rd1st
Market Cap11,339,553,299 USD178,409,831,940 USD
24-Hour Volume1,033,612,299 USD18,408,249,735 USD
Circulating Supply42,890,708,341 XRP17,890,087 BTC
Price in BTC0.00002654NA

BTC Vs. XRP Price Analysis:

Both Bitcoin and Ripple started on a declining note. In the first hours of the day, Bitcoin price has declined by 6.15% and fell to the level of 10,125.86 USD. Similarly, Ripple declined by 4.15% and landed at $0.2628. After that, the declining trend has slowed a bit, and coins kept fluctuating up and down in the range of around 2%. However, during the early minutes of the second half, on the other day, came yet another dip where BTC price declined by 2.21% and Ethereum by 0.96%.

BTC - XRP Price Prediction

After the second intraday breakdown, the digital coins have shown some strengthening for the next couple of hours. In that period, BTC hiked by 1.75% and XRP by 1.5%. The next plunge that came in around midnight dragged Bitcoin price by 2.91% and took it below $10k mark again. Similarly, XRP declined by 2.02% and landed at the level of 0.26 USD. Lately, the cryptos have been hovering at those levels and showed some bounce back, which helped then to move toward their current position.

BTC vs XRP Prediction & Conclusion:

Making any prediction in this swinging market is a rigorous task. However, for now, Ripple faces immediate resistance at $0.274454 and support at $0.259335. For Bitcoin, the immediate resistance is at 10,636.95 USD and support level at $9,800.93.

The Ripple team has done a recent assessment of the blockchain and assured that they will work toward the narrowing of the skill gap. Further, they added that in order to address the issue, the team would seek the help of experts including academia, governments, and private organizations.

Source.cryptonewsz.

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