Bitcoins expanded rapidly in 2021, especially in India. The Indian government is currently debating its official stance on cryptocurrency. A new study by Chainalysis claims that many crypto-enthusiasts in India end up on scam sites due to a lack of research and understanding. The survey claims that in 2021, India accessed 9.6 million bogus crypto websites.
Scammers have been targeting naive investors in recent years as the crypto industry has grown in popularity globally.
According to statistics from Chainalysis, Coinpayu.com, Adbtc.top, Hackertyper.net, Dualmine.com, and Coingain.app were the top five fraudulent crypto websites visited by Indians in 2021.
These websites are designed to capture visitors’ personal information without their permission or knowledge. These malicious websites often get the names, emails, and phone numbers of people who want to invest in crypto, which puts them at risk of being scammed again.
The Morris Coin scam is an example of how some of these fraudulent websites target cryptocurrency investors with bogus investment plans.
Approximately 900 people in Kerala were scammed out of over $161 million by a crypto-scam. The victims allegedly invested in a non-existent cryptocurrency called the Morris Coin thru an “initial coin offering.”
Additionally, scammers have approached potential cryptocurrency investors using popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram. Last November, Shiba Inu’s official Twitter account warned investors about a Telegram money-laundering scheme.
Chainalysis analysis reported that the number of Indians visiting bogus cryptocurrency websites has decreased significantly since 2020. More than 17.8 million Indians visited cryptocurrency fraud websites in the previous two years.
Several industry organizations are taking steps in their own roles to raise awareness about the cryptocurrency sector in India.
In 2021, for example, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) established the Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council (BACC) to spread awareness of cryptocurrencies.