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New Cryptocurrency Job Recruitment Scam Emerges in India

In a concerning development, Indian crypto investors are falling victim to a new type of cryptocurrency scam, where fraudsters pose as job recruiters to deceive unsuspecting candidates.

Naved Alam, a 22-year-old resident of Pune, India, found himself at the mercy of this scam, losing approximately $3000 (INR 2.5 lakhs) worth of his crypto assets.

Alam took to X to share his harrowing experience, hoping to raise awareness and prevent others from falling prey to similar schemes. According to his account, a user named ‘crankybugatti’ approached him on X, offering a potential role as a product designer aligned with his professional expertise.

The purported job opportunity was related to a web3 communication application named ‘SocialSpectra.’ Subsequently, Alam was instructed to continue the conversation on Discord, a popular communication platform among crypto enthusiasts.

However, what seemed like a legitimate job opportunity quickly turned into a nightmare for Alam. After expressing interest in his work, the fake recruiters scheduled an HR interview and provided Alam with an onboarding link. Unbeknownst to him, the link led to spyware disguised as an international communication app.

The malware infiltrated Alam’s Phantom wallet, siphoning off his crypto assets and liquidating his staked funds on the Solana-based defi platform Kamino Finance.

Despite Alam’s efforts to recover his losses by contacting ‘crankybugatti,’ the fraudster denied involvement and made empty promises of resolving the issue through a friend allegedly working in cybercrime security.

The incident comes amidst heightened regulatory scrutiny of cryptocurrency activities in India. Last month, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) took action against 299 entities under anti-money laundering laws, responding to fraudulent schemes offering false promises of crypto mining investments.

Similarly, global authorities have been combatting cryptocurrency scams, as seen in South Korea, where victims were swindled out of over $4.1 million in a similar scheme promising substantial returns on crypto investments.

As the crypto market continues to attract both investors and fraudsters, individuals must exercise caution and diligence to avoid falling victim to such scams.

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