Scams: what to look out for

Luno’s security team is continually identifying methods used by scammers to try to obtain funds fraudulently. We ask you to keep yourself informed of these tactics by referring back to this page regularly for updates.

Fake Goods/Services scams

Summary:

  • The fraudster poses as a genuine provider of good or service;
  • They usually post fake ads online but may also approach the victim directly via social media;
  • The fake ads are copies of genuine ads at a much lower comparable price;
  • The ‘offer’ is time limited or limited by available stock to create a sense of urgency;
  • Goods/services are never delivered.

Core concepts:

  1. Poses as a genuine supplier or product
  2. Offer the product at a lower price (Pay with BTC and get 35% off)
  3. Create a sense of urgency
  4. Goods/services are never delivered

Phishing scams

Summary:

  • The fraudster sends fake emails and/or SMSes;
  • Giving a fake offer or notifying the customer of activity on their account and asks them to perform an action;
  • The email or SMS contains a link to a fake look-alike website;
  • The fake website will either:
    • Install malware on the customer’s device; or
    • Steal their login or credit card info when the customer logs in or attempts to purchase the product.

Core concepts:

  1. A trigger or buzzword (2021 server/2FA)
  2. Threat (Deactivation)
  3. An action (Update)
  4. Time pressure (Today)

Social Media scam

Summary:

  • The scammer will contact the victim directly via social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) This communication is usually unsolicited 
  • The scammer generally offers to trade for the customer offering unrealistically high or guaranteed returns in a short space of time
  • The social media profile and profile pictures show the traders success. The scammer will provide photos/videos flaunting wealth offering same to the Victim;
  • The scammer will often use condescending ‘pet names’ (Dear, Love, Honey, etc.) when communicating with the victim
  • High volumes of messages are always accompanied by urgency or the Victim will miss out on the opportunity;
  • As soon as the first deposit is made they will require another deposit for various reasons: 
    • Commission
    • Tax
    • Fees
  • In rare occasions the scammer may make a few payouts to the Victim in order to bait them into sending more money
  • Scammer eventually goes silent, usually when last or largest deposit is made

Key elements:

  1. Contacts the victim via social media
  2. Offers to trade for the customer offering unrealistically high or guaranteed returns
  3. Turn around time for these returns is very short
  4. As soon as the first deposit is received another deposit is immediately required

Trading scams

Summary:

  • Often the victim is introduced to the trader via WhatsApp/Telegram/Facebook;
  • FX, Binary options or crypto experts 
  • Victim signs up with Scammer posing as a ‘trader’ or websites;
  • Referral lends some legitimacy to the scam;
  • Offer is usually only available for a limited time period or some other reason that creates a fake sense of urgency;
  • he scammer generally offers to trade for the customer offering unrealistically high or guaranteed returns in a short space of time
  • High volumes of messages are always accompanied by urgency or the Victim will miss out on the opportunity;
  • As soon as the first deposit is made they will require another deposit for various reasons: 
    • Commission
    • Tax
    • Fees

Key elements:

  1. Contacts the victim via instant messaging or social media
  2. Signs-up for a trading website or with expert scammer
  3. Offers unrealistically high or guaranteed returns in a short space of time
  4. As soon as the first deposit is received another deposit is immediately required
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