LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Trading cryptocurrency is exploding in popularity, but criminals are taking advantage of the trend.
In the last year, the FBI reported that Americans lost around a billion dollars last year in crypto scams.
So here’s how to avoid becoming a victim.
“This is a dangerous space for people who don’t know what they’re doing,” said Jerry Norris, the CEO of Fledge. “I am not surprised at all.”
Fledge can be found right off of Eureka Street in Lansing.
“We started our crypto journey in 2012,” continued Norris. “It is not going to go away. If you’ve been to quality dairy you can find Bitcoin ATMs now. All the big banks are involved in this. It is a global phenomenon that is going to change the way that financial systems work.”
Now, Fledge has their own Fledge coin they’re developing. In addition to their own currency development, the group also helps people looking to join and learn more about cryptocurrency.
Though people like Jerry are looking to help people, there are cyber criminals looking for easy targets.
Norris says cybercriminals can hack into people’s accounts on social media or through dating websites. After the initial hack, the scammers target friends of the hacking victim because trust is already there.
“Once the transaction’s done it is gone and that will often go to one address and then it bounces to another crypto address and so you can’t really trace where it went off to.”
The Better Business Bureau say most victims lose about $1,200.
So, if you want to invest, crypto experts say to only download from Google Play or the App Store.
If you wat to learn more, the Fledge has a meet-up every Thursday from 12 p.m. until 2 p.m.
In the past six months, more than 250 people have gotten involved with the Fledge.