Peer-to-peer scam me my dear

Peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchanges are sometimes a good option to buy crypto, especially if you want to have a little discount or use certain payment method for your personal convenience. And as soon as it involves a (pseudo-)anonymous counter-agent online, you are guaranteed by the exchange service but only if you stick to the rules. If you do not, chances are you could be lead into a scheme which would make you a victim and you will lose an otherwise legitimate dispute or claim.

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Bitcoin cloud mining scam: lose money without even giving them away

There is a certain scheme of crypto scam I have come across which is not a usual ‘bitcoin investment’ enticing you to put your money into some ‘binary trading’ establishment in a hope for sky high profits. This is a cloud mining offer which eventually does not seem like a straightforward scam for some, however it is still dangerous if you are not aware of some important details and general principles of securing your crypto wallet.

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Ready or no, here I come! (under your VPN)

Naturally, one would expect a savvy scammer to use VPN in order to hide their exact location. This is not always the case with amateurish wanna-be-cyber-criminals who might not care much of their own anonymization. Many cases of crypto scam reveal that no VPN is used at all, so it is pretty easy to estimate a scammer’s location from their IP address. But even VPN usage won’t guarantee a scammer from their location detection if no attention is paid to some important details.

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Cryptocurrency scam schemes: following the money

The most illustrative part of crypto scam investigation is visualizing the flow of funds through transactions and addresses associated with a scammer’s wallet. This method allows us to reveal related addresses or their clusters and also to track funds to certain centralized exchanges where they can be potentially cashed out. Additionally, we can also include in the graph other entities related to scammer in order to create a full picture.

We will approach this task using two different investigation tools: Maltego CE and GraphSense. Both tools are available for free in non-commercial versions.

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Nigerian cryptocurrency scams: uncovering the schemes

This post opens a series of articles dedicated to research of online crypto scam schemes orginated from Nigeria, which have emerged in the recent times on social media platform like Instagram, Facebook and Telegram. We are looking at these scams not only from a technical and investigative point of view (how exactly scam is commited), but also will touch social aspects of such crimes as well – why people are choosing this business of scamming others online this way.

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