Malaysia Authorities Arrest 14
On Saturday, April 18, 2020, local authorities in Malaysia arrested 14 individuals after a lengthy cryptocurrency scam investigation. All suspects were Chinese males between the ages of 20 and 30 years of age. Consequently, 3 of the 14 suspects did not have any valid travel documentation in their possession.
According to the police report, the 14 suspected individuals were operating this illegal cryptocurrency scam for the past 2 months. They would engage in online conversations with potential victims through popular Chinese messaging apps and groups. Notably, WeChat and QQ messaging applications were utilized to lure and secure their victims.
The plan was one individual position themselves as a successful investor or mentor, and others would be additional potential investors. Enticing the victims, they would converse in online group chats to coerce the victims into thinking the investment is legit. With numerous players and false success claims, many could have fallen victim to this strategy. Currently, police are still investigating exactly how many victims there are, and the amount of money lost from this operation.
If the suspects are convicted, court sentencing could bring them potential jail time of up to 10 years and fines. For the individuals charged without valid travel documents, they could face fines, jail time up to 5 years, and whipping.
How to Protect Yourself from Scams
There are many ways to protect yourself from scammers online with a few simple tips.
• Do not give out personal information unless it is needed and consider the source requesting it.
• Use secure passwords and pin codes to protect your bank accounts and credit cards.
• Do not overshare any personal information on social media websites.
• Monitor your bank and credit accounts regularly for any suspicious activity.
• Do not believe everything you read or see on the Internet.
• Use your gut feeling; if it seems too good, it probably is.
• Do not click on links in emails that take you directly to login pages of 3rd party websites.
• If you don’t recognize an email address, delete it and don’t open it.
• Check the spelling and web address of websites to ensure they are legit.
Cryptocurrency Scams Are Abundant
All through time, there have been scams to lure people into separating them from their money or valuables for profit. From age-old snake oil salesmen to pyramid marketing schemes, individuals need to be cautious of many things. Personal protection is vital, especially in this digital age where information is everywhere online and used daily.
More recently, the number of digital scams around the world has increased due to the accessibility of the Internet. Because of this, individuals need to be more diligent on the differences between a business opportunity and a scam. A good rule of thumb to follow is if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. And if you find yourself a victim of a scam, be sure to talk to authorities immediately. You will need to notify your financial institutions and credit services to ensure that it won’t happen further.