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 [BTC] and other cryptocurrencies can be exchanged for ETFs and stocks, says Abra CEO
Bill Barhydt, CEO and Founder of Abra – a leading fintech firm in the cryptocurrency space, spoke about a range of services offered by the platform, in an interview with Nugget’s News.
The discussion started with Barhydt talking about why he started Abra. He stated that it was because he wanted to “build an effectively new type of banking system,” adding that it was to replace traditional banking services with cryptocurrency-based services. The CEO stated that this could include investing, transferring money, and accessing credit. He also added that he wanted to create a “Whatsapp” for money.
This was followed by Barhydt stating that every country across the globe had its own dedicated mobile money system, such as Paytm in India, Venmo in the U.S, and WePay in China. However, there was no app that enabled its users to make cross-border money transfers. He went on to state,“[…] because they only work in one country by definition […] so one app that could work in every country could start to solve things like cross-border money transfer, cross-border payments, investing in Western assets in the east, and eastern assets in the West. so this is basically what we’ve built with the Abra service […]”
During the interview, the CEO was asked whether Abra’s focus was more on STOs, equities, and ETFs. To this, he stated that the platform was not providing any services related to STOs yet, adding that the market for those types of tokens wasn’t established as of now. He said that Abra currently supports 50 different fiat currencies and 30 cryptocurrencies that include Bitcoin [BTC], Litecoin [LTC], Ether [ETH], and Bitcoin Cash [BCH]. He added,
The CEO further added,“[…] and any of the stocks any of the fiat currencies and any of the ETFs so for example you can hold Australian dollars and buy Microsoft you can sell your Microsoft and exchange it for Litecoin and any combination of those across the entire portfolio […] our mission is to democratize access to financial services globally and this is a big step towards making that that vision a reality […]”
Bitcoin [BTC] and Litecoin [LTC] Price Analysis: Bulls drag BTC from bear’s trap; fail to save LTC
The cryptocurrency market was painted red on April 25 as most major coins fell. Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, also fell by 2.83% over the day, along with Litecoin [LTC], which reported a fall of 1.25% over the day.
At press time, BTC noted a fall of 0.39% over the hour and was valued at $5,433.19 with a market cap of $95.97 billion. The coin fell by 2.82% over the past day and noted a minimal growth of 2.90% over the past seven days. The 24-hour trading volume for BTC was observed to be $16.11 billion.
Support 2- $3,851.02
Bollinger Bands noted a bullish trend as the moving average line was under the candlesticks. The bands appeared to be converging, indicating reduced market volatility.
Awesome Oscillator indicated strong bearish momentum.
Chaikin Money Flow pointed towards a bullish market as the marker was above zero. However, it appeared to be approaching the mark, with a change in trend imminent.
Litecoin [LTC] one day chart
At press time, LTC fell by 1.25% over the past day and was valued at $72.54 with a market cap of $4.46 billion. The coin fell by 0.77% over the past hour and by 10.20% over the past seven days. The 24-hour trading volume was observed to be $3.13 billion.
Parabolic SAR indicated a bearish market as the dotted markers aligned above the candlesticks.
MACD line was under the signal line, pointing towards a bearish market.
Relative Strength Index indicated that the buying and selling pressure evened each other out.
According to BTC’s long-term chart, a bullish market was predicted. However, the CMF suggested that a trend reversal may be underway. LTC pointed towards a bearish market.
Bitcoin Price Analysis April 25: Critical Decision Point For BTC – a Double Top or Hold Support?
Since our previous BTC price analysis, and following the trend, the Bitcoin breakout had reached a daily high of $5627 on Bitstamp. This is still not our expected target (around $5700 – $5800), however, this is crypto and anything can change anytime.
Since yesterday, the crypto markets are suffering from severe declines: Both in Bitcoin and especially among the altcoins. This includes Ripple that keeps decreasing against Bitcoin since 2019 had begun.
A quick overview to keep things simple: the hourly and the 4-hours chart reveal a double top in Bitcoin around $5625. This setting is a bearish formation. From the other side, Bitcoin is still getting support from the mid-term trend-line on the 4-hour chart, along with the stiff resistance turned support area at $5300 – $5350.
Total Market Cap: $176 Billion
Bitcoin Market Cap: $96.3 Billion
BTC Dominance: 54.6%
Looking at the 1-day & 4-hour charts
As mentioned above, Bitcoin is very close to the ascending trend-line marked in orange on the 4-hour chart, along with the $5400 support area. This trend-line is holding nicely for the past ten days. The next critical support level is the resistance turned support $5300 – $5350 zone. Below lie the $5200, $5100 and $5000 support levels.
From above, after failing to break-out the previous high at $5625, Bitcoin marked $5500 as the closest resistance level. Above, lies the mentioned $5600 – $5625 resistance, before reaching to the major area of $5700 – $5800, which held the 2018 bear market as last support level throughout 2018. In case of a break-up, the $6000 level is not expected to be easier to overcome.
– Trading Volume: looking on the 4-hour chart, we see that the sellers’ candles (in red) are decreasing over the past two days. This could turn bullish, combined with the Stochastic RSI oscillator which is deep in the oversold area.
– Daily chart’s RSI: The RSI level had dumped down to 68, which is considered a support range. It will be interesting to see if it can find the necessary support here.
– BitFinex open short positions: the number of short positions continues growing up over the past days, and currently stands at 25.7K BTC open short positions.