The Spanish National Police has detected an increase in scams committed with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin (to be traded on Bitcoin system), with greater attention to the region of Murcia, in the southeast of the country. It then offered a series of recommendations for users to avoid falling for it.
According to the sub-inspector of the National Police of Murcia, Diego Seral, most of the scams and frauds that have been committed have involved BTC, the first cryptocurrency.
This is probably due to the popularity and relevance of this asset compared to other existing ones
The law enforcement official, however, did not provide exact figures on the increase in reports of cryptocurrency scams.
During a press conference, Seral recalled the "numerous warnings" issued by the Bank of Spain and the National Securities Market Commission regarding investments in cryptocurrencies and their alleged risks. This, starting from the fact that scammers "usually offer high returns and zero risk" to investors. “And absolutely no one can give such guarantees,” she clarified.
The official said scammers often come into direct contact with their victims through telephones or social networks, so he urged "beware of investments that give good returns at the beginning but end up losing all the money invested."
“You should never trust managers who want to manage their assets and it is very important never to give out the username and password of your cryptocurrency wallet. Also be wary of online merchants or platforms that only accept cryptocurrency payments,” the police officer said.
In the event that a person ends up being scammed, Seral recommends "gathering all transaction information, signed documentation, keys, passwords, emails" and reporting it to a National Police station to formalize the complaint. .
The rise of cryptocurrency scams in Spain comes at a time when the country's authorities have managed to dismantle the gangs dedicated to this crime. At the end of 2022, a dozen people linked to a group that defrauded more than 200.000 euros in cryptocurrencies were caught.
In December 2022, the head of an alleged global cryptocurrency scam, who had managed to raise €2,4 billion in virtual assets, was also caught in Spain.
The increase in the number of scams in Spain has been such that an association of people affected by cryptocurrency scams was created in January this year, organized by the law firm Vázquez Abogados, based in the city of Malaga in the south of the Spain.
How to avoid bitcoin and cryptocurrency scams?
Cryptocurrency scams are not new and have been around since the ecosystem was created. However, there are ways to prevent users from falling for it.
As we explained in our Cryptopedia, education, research, judgment and distrust are key elements that allow anyone to safeguard their cryptocurrency funds. In this article, we dive into the tips to avoid falling victim to potential scammers.