The US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is creating awareness about a high-profile scam misusing Twitter accounts to solicit fraudulent payments in convertible virtual currency (CVC). As part of the scam, cyber criminals compromised the accounts of public figures, organizations and financial institutions to solicit payments to CVC accounts, falsely promising that the CVC will be doubled and returned to the sender.
FinCEN has asked those who receive such solicitations to not engage in any financial transactions or sharing of private information with these individuals without verification of identity. It is important that authorities identify and report suspicious transactions related to such scams in the earliest. To aid in this process, FinCEN has identified some indicators for possible scams of similar nature.
The most obvious indicator is a promise of high or guaranteed returns on payments to unfamiliar accounts. Other indicators include communications, including social media posts, that solicit payments with misspelled names or strange out-of-profile messages. Solicitations requesting donations via social media accounts of unknown organizations, celebrities or public figures also point to a possible scam. Further, social media posts that solicit donations from unverified or fake social media accounts are important indicators.
FinCEN has advised financial institutions to include all relevant technical cyber indicators in the Suspicious Activity Report forms. These could be chat logs, suspicious IP addresses, suspicious email addresses, suspicious filenames, MAC addresses etc. FinCEN is collaborating with law enforcement authorities to identify the source of these scams and stop them.