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Bitcoin scammers find an opportunity in Turkey earthquake, beware if you get an ’emotional message’ to support Turkish people

Akartuna advised people to check the history of the account sharing a Bitcoin wallet address before proceeding with the donation.

On Monday, February 6, parts of Turkey and Syria were rocked by a deadly earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter Scale. The earthquake has already claimed the lives of 17,000 people and thousands more have been left injured. Following the devastation left in the wake of the earthquake, the world community has stepped up to help Turkey. However, while most of the world is focused on helping Turkey, this has given an opportunity to scamsters as well.

Following the earthquake, Haluk Levent, a Turkish musician, met with the country’s financial watchdog to allow the set up of crypto wallets to collect donations to help in relief efforts. The donations started pouring in and soon, over $ 3 Million were collected in crypto donations by Wednesday morning. However, there was one problem, soon, fraudulent accounts started popping up on Twitter making a plea to donate money for Turkish victims.

Tweets like the one shared below started appearing everywhere, particularly in replies below the tweets of popular Twitter accounts, like Elon Musk for example.

The now deleted tweet says that the person is a student in Turkey and needs help, and goes on to share a Bitcoin address where people can send money.

Warning about such scams, Arda Akartuna, a senior cryptocurrency threat analyst at Elliptic, a blockchain and crypto analytics firm, said, “In situations where it’s clear that a Twitter account has started up on the same day as the earthquake, or has been active previously but changed its name, chances are in those situations it’s more likely than not to be a scam.”

Akartuna advised people to check the history of the account sharing a Bitcoin wallet address before proceeding with the donation. Checking the followers list, whether it is a new account set up just to seek donations in cryptocurrency or not, are all useful indicators as per Akartuna.

Despite the risk of fraud, many people prefer to donate in cryptocurrency because of the speed and ease of transfer.

BitMEX is one of those donating to Red Crescent for Turkey earthquake victims and their CEO said that they are doing it because of the ‘much much faster’ nature of transfer using cryptocurrencies.

While Turkey, and Syria, need help desperately in the wake of the devastating earthquake, and every mode of money transfer is acceptable, still, donors need to do a bit of diligence to ensure that they are not falling for fraud. Since cryptocurrency once transferred to a crypto wallet is not recoverable, it is better to check before making that transfer.

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Searched termsTurkey earthquake
OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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