There will always be those that seek to profit by taking advantage of the vulnerable, but according to recent research, COVID-19 has wiped out a third of crypto scammers’ revenue.
Markets themselves have fallen since the viral outbreak intensified over the past two months, which has also attributed to the decline in cryptocurrency pilfered by scammers.
Research firm Chainalysis has taken a look at the value of cryptocurrency sent to known scam addresses this year, noting that it has declined way below the market prices themselves.
It reported that the total daily value sent to crypto scams dropped around 60% between March 13 and March 31, though it has recovered somewhat since then.
How is Covid-19 affecting cryptocurrency? Get our analysis in this 2-part webinar series, April 8 and 15 at 11am ET.
Part 1 examines the pandemic's markets impact, while Part 2 looks at how criminals are trying to take advantage.
— Chainalysis (@chainalysis) March 30, 2020
The majority of the scam revenue losses so far are concentrated on investment scams and Ponzi schemes, the research added.
COVID-19 has clearly had an impact on the revenue scammers have been able to net from digital currencies.
Scammers have been switching focus to email and social engineering to prey upon those confused by the conditions of the virus and the mass of misinformation disseminated across social media platforms.
Phishing scammers are now building their narratives around COVID-19. The report highlighted one example in which a scammer claimed to be with the CDC and asked victims to donate cryptocurrency to help fight the pandemic.
Others have even offered remedies and a vaccine for the virus in exchange for crypto payments.