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.
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.
Bitcoin (BTCUSD) weekly forecast on February 18 — 24, 2019
Cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC/USD) is trading at 3587. Cryptocurrency quotes are trading below the moving average with a period of 55. This indicates a bearish trend for Bitcoin. At the moment, cryptocurrency quotes are moving near the upper border of the Bollinger Bands indicator.
Bitcoin (BTCUSD) weekly forecast on February 18 — 24, 2019
As part of the Bitcoin exchange rate forecast, the test level of 3820 is expected. Where should we expect an attempt to continue the fall of BTC/USD and the further development of the downward trend. The purpose of this movement is the area near the level of 2700. The conservative area for selling Bitcoin is located near the upper border of the Bollinger Bands indicator at the level of 3850.
Cancellation of the option to continue the decline in Bitcoin will be the breakdown of the area of the upper border of the Bollinger Bands indicator. As well as the moving average with a period of 55 and closing of quotations of the pair above the area of 4250. This will indicate a change in the current trend in favor of the bullish for BTC/USD. In the event of a breakdown of the lower border of the Bollinger Bands indicator bands, we should expect an acceleration of the fall of the cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin (BTCUSD) weekly forecast on February 18 — 24, 2019 implies a test level of 3820. Further, it is expected to continue falling to the area below the level of 2700. The conservative area for selling Bitcoin is located area of 3850. Canceling the option of falling cryptocurrency will break the level of 4250. In this case, we should expect continued growth.
BTCUSD Analysis: Bitcoin still trading in a bearish consolidation [Video]
Any upside moves are classified as corrective ahead of what could be the next downside extension and bearish continuation. It would take a break back above 4,380 at a minimum to take the immediate pressure off the downside. Next critical support comes in the form of the July and September 2017 lows, around 2,000 and 2,975 respectively.
In this analysis, we take a look at Bitcoin each day, highlighting all of the need to knows for anyone looking to extract up to date information about major levels and relevant trends, both short term and longer-term. The analysis is designed for the trader, investor and even those simply holding the crypto asset, looking for an idea of where they may want to consider making that next conversion.
The cryptocurrency update is new each day and is presented with an added layer of animation, in an effort to make the analysis as engaging as possible, while also communicating the message with respect to key trends and levels in an easy to understand, seamless manner with great value add to all.
Are Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) Net Positive Or Negative For Bitcoin And Crypto Assets?
Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) have been analyzed by several banking institutions around the world, specifically by several central banks in different countries. However, they are different than virtual currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC). How would the issuance of CBDCs affect Bitcoin and the whole crypto market?
There are some important differences between Bitcoin and CBDCs. For example, Bitcoin is permissionless, decentralized and censorship-resistant while CBDCs are permission, centralized and censorable. Thus, they are almost contrary to Bitcoin. While the most popular cryptocurrency provides freedom to users, CBDCs allow governments to have larger control over their populations.
A few days ago, the popular investment bank JP Morgan unveiled a stablecoin called JPM Coin that would be used to make transfers between customers in just a few seconds. Although JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon has been against virtual currencies, it seems that the bank will be using blockchain technology to power their virtual currency.
There were several individuals in the market claiming that the new JP Morgan digital coin killed Bitcoin, or at least, it is going to kill the most popular cryptocurrency in the market. However, it is important to understand that these coins will never be similar and work in a completely different way. CBDCs and stablecoins issued by financial institutions such as JP Morgan work in a centralized and controlled way.
Indeed, these new digital assets do not seem to present a threat to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. SWIFT could be affected by these new coins. SWIFT is the mainstream and most popular system to perform cross-border payments. This system has proven to be slow and costly for many financial institutions and banks all over the world. Indeed, Ripple’s services could also be affected by the growth of new CBDCs.
CBDCs legitimize that virtual currencies are the future of money. Because of this, it might be possible for Bitcoin to distance itself from drugs and criminals. At the same time, with CBDCs individuals will discover that there are several advantages of using digital assets.
Individuals will clearly have their funds frozen at any moment using CBDCs if the financial institution regulating the asset decides so. Moreover, their accounts can be suspended and users would not be able to use these funds anymore.
There are some crypto experts that believe that CBDCs could be very harmful to societies. For example, China is currently trying to control its population with new surveillance systems related to how individuals use their funds.
Crypto fiat (i.e. government controlled permissioned cryptocurrencies) will be the biggest battleground globally for human rights over the next decade. China is leading the way, many other countries, including some big western democracies, will follow. https://t.co/8BqfmBJ2mP
— Ari Paul (@AriDavidPaul) February 13, 2019
With CBDCs, people will realize that there is no more freedom and that the government is ultimately controlling everything. This is why Bitcoin could grow as a safe haven where users can feel free to use their funds as they want without being controlled by governments.
That does not mean that Bitcoin will be used to perform illegal things. It means that users will protect their privacy and what they do with their funds.