The scam typically involves criminals posting adverts online carrying a bogus celebrity endorsement on a fake website with an article promoting cryptocurrency. Investors are asked to complete a contact form and the criminal uses these details to follow up with a telephone call. During the call the fraudster, a “cryptocurrency trader”, helps the victim open a wallet with a cryptocurrency trading platform and in the process persuades the victim to install remote access software onto their computer.
Millions of pounds from being sent to crypto-criminals who are exploiting the high levels of interest in the currency. However, consumers should always be alert, especially to the use of fake websites and bogus celebrity endorsements.”
NatWest encourages customers to beware of fake websites advertising get-rich-quick cryptocurrency schemes and urges anyone who is trading in cryptocurrency to verify that no one else can access their cryptocurrency wallet. If suspicious, investors should immediately stop making payments and contact their bank and the cryptocurrency wallet provider.
The Financial Conduct Authority website https://www.fca.org.
Top tips to avoid becoming a cryptoscam victim
- If you’ve been contacted by a ‘trader’ promising large profits and offering to help you invest in cryptocurrency, this is a likely to be a scam.
- Always have control of your cryptocurrency wallet. If you didn’t set the wallet up yourself or a cryptocurrency trader persuaded you to download remote access software onto your computer, this is a scam. You should stop making payments immediately.
- Follow FCA advice and check the cryptocurrency firm you are dealing with has been approved by them.
NatWest is also offering customers free Malwarebytes software to help with added online protection and recently introduced a Manage My Limits feature online which enables customers to configure their own security settings by restricting the amount of money that can be transferred out of their account.