Home Bitcoin News Bitcoin Scam How Did Scammers Steal $14 Billion in Crypto in 2021? The 4 Largest Crypto Heists

How Did Scammers Steal $14 Billion in Crypto in 2021? The 4 Largest Crypto Heists

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2021 was a fairly combined bag of a yr for crypto, however total it continued to develop exponentially, with tens of millions selecting to speculate on this booming trade. However, with elevated hype and demand comes criminals seeking to make a buck by scamming people out of their treasured crypto. This occurred all through 2021, with over $14 billion in crypto being stolen.

So, which scams made headlines after stealing tens of millions?

1. The Squid Coin Rug Pull


squid game logo
Picture Credit score: Aniol/Wikimedia Commons

After the massive international success of Netflix’s “Squid Sport” in 2021, a “play-to-earn” cryptocurrency named “Squid Coin” was developed and launched onto the market. The hype round Netflix’s hottest present thus far fueled the hype round this crypto, with many assuming it was formally related to Squid Sport itself.

Associated: The Biggest NFT Scams and How to Avoid Them

The thought behind a “play-to-earn” crypto is that customers can purchase tokens to make use of in on-line video games after which make extra tokens by means of these video games, which they will then promote for a revenue. So, this enjoyable incentive to purchase paired with the present’s international reputation drew folks to start out shopping for Squid Coin. In lower than two weeks, the worth of 1 Squid Coin shot up from $0.05 to over $2,800. And, as its worth elevated, extra folks invested, having religion that this coin would really take off.

However this wasn’t to be. Sadly, this complete cryptocurrency was set to be a rug pull from the beginning. Builders pulled the plug and acquired away with nearly $3.4 million of investor funds. And, as of now, nobody has been arrested for this crime.

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2. Elon Musk Impersonators


elon musk at conference
Picture Credit score: Heisenberg Media/Wikimedia Commons

Everyone knows the massive impact Elon Musk can have on crypto. Only a single Tweet of his has triggered a market crash prior to now, and lots of nonetheless look to him for crypto recommendation. So, it is no shock that folks have been impersonating him to rip-off customers out of their digital funds.

This rip-off includes cybercriminals impersonating Musk on Twitter, copying his profile image, bio, and selecting nearly similar usernames to these proven on his official Twitter account. From there, they put up replies or feedback beneath the tweets of standard accounts to advertise no matter hyperlink they’re making an attempt to push on the market.

These hyperlinks normally take you to faux crypto giveaways or funding scams, which trick folks into sending their crypto elsewhere to have it multiplied and returned. In the long run, victims find yourself willingly giving their crypto to somebody who’s going to take it and run.

3. The Africrypt Investor Rip-off


funds growing with X over large pot

Funding scams have been round for many years earlier than the web or cryptocurrency ever existed. However these scams have managed to make their manner into the crypto trade, as there’s at all times somebody seeking to spend money on cryptocurrency or related tasks.

A pair of younger South African brothers, Ameer and Raees Cajee, developed Africrypt in 2019. This cryptocurrency funding platform managed to lift big quantities of Bitcoin from traders in a brief interval, with the brothers promising wholesome returns from their investments. However this was to not be, as Africrypt turned out to be nothing greater than a Ponzi scheme.

The 2 brothers disappeared in 2021 with over $3.6 billion in Bitcoin, pulling off one of many greatest crypto crimes of all time. South African authorities at the moment are investigating the incident in an try to seek out these brothers, and hopefully the massive amount of cash that disappeared with them.

4. The Developed Apes NFT Rug Pull


person having crypto stolen from laptop

You have in all probability learn a number of the stunning tales on the market about NFTs promoting for tens of tens of millions of {dollars}. These digital, blockchain-based artworks at the moment are vastly standard, and cybercriminals have definitely picked up on this hype.

Associated: The Biggest Risks for Crypto Investors (Both Beginners and Veterans)

NFT scams are extremely widespread, however some actually take the cake. One such rip-off, the Developed Apes rug pull, made headlines in Autumn of 2021 when the challenge’s builders disappeared with $2.7 million of funding funds.

The Developed Apes founders promised customers a sport during which they may pit the NFT apes they owned in opposition to one another for an opportunity to win Ethereum. And whereas traders did get their NFTs (which offered out in lower than ten minutes), the sport was by no means made. As an alternative, after promoting the NFTs, the builders withdrew 798 ETH meant for the sport’s improvement and vanished into skinny air. It is nonetheless unknown who these individuals are or what they’ve achieved with these funds.

The Crypto Trade Is Thrilling However Harmful

With big quantities of crypto being stolen weekly, it is essential to be as cautious as potential when shopping for, promoting, or investing in something to keep away from shedding massive bucks to savvy cybercriminals. In terms of crypto, it pays to remain on alert, and doing a bit of additional analysis or considering twice can actually show you how to dodge a bullet.



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