With Valentine’s Day Approaching, the FBI Warns Issues a Scammer Alert

Bob Mason
Published: Feb 12, 2022, 06:29 UTC

Illicit activity is on an upward trend, leading to increased government and regulatory scrutiny. The FBI warning gives regulators another reason to step in.

Unsafe Global Network

At the turn of the year, the crypto news wires have been plagued with scams and illicit activity. As a result, regulators have responded, adding further pressure on the broader crypto market.

This week, news had hit the wires of North Korea funding its missile program with stolen crypto. According to Chainalysis, North Korea illegally amassed more than $400m worth of digital assets last year. Tactics included phishing lures, code exploits, malware, and siphoning funds from “hot” wallets.

With the NFT marketplace also seeing a jump in illicit activity, regulators and governments are looking to take steps to clamp down on the surge in illegal activity.

Governments Raise the Alarm over Illegal Activity

In late January, the White House announced plans to tackle the crypto market with an Executive Order. The order will reportedly task agencies with the regulation of cryptos as a matter of national security. Agencies will need to look beyond cryptocurrencies, to also regulate stablecoins and NFTs. The order could provide a blue print to a global crypto regulatory framework. President Biden expects U.S agencies to work with regulators from around the world to regulate digital assets.

Other governments have also raised concerns, including India, South Korea, and the UK.

FBI Romance Scam Warning on the Eve of Valentine’s Day

With illicit activity on the rise, romance scams have also surged. Overnight, the FBI issued a warning of rising San Francisco Bay area romance scams.

According to the FBI, the FBI’s San Francisco division’s territory lost more than $64m to romance scams. This was up from just over 35% in 2020.  Romance scammers are reportedly “persuading individuals to send money to invest or trade cryptocurrency”.

The rising trend gives the U.S government and other regulators yet more reason to clamp down on the digital asset sector. With Bitcoin (BTC) and the broader crypto market sitting well below last year’s ATHs, investor interest has been on the rise. This gives scammers a better opportunity to dupe want to be crypto investors of hard-earned fiat.

About the Author

Bob Masonauthor

With over 20 years of experience in the finance industry, Bob has been managing regional teams across Europe and Asia and focusing on analytics across both corporate and financial institutions. Currently he is covering developments relating to the financial markets, including currencies, commodities, alternative asset classes, and global equities.

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