The value of Bitcoin skyrocketed shockingly above that of an ounce of gold earlier this month – by far its peak since it rose to popularity. Along with its price spike, however, is the significant increase in the number of online scams. In fact, the last three weeks have been the highest for fraudulent activities related to the cryptocurrency.

According to ZeroFOX, a cyber security firm based in Baltimore, a staggering 12,360 scams have been reported involving pyramid schemes, flipping, phishing, and malware. These were done through social media posts and luring people into Bitcoin websites.

Social media: where scammers lure their prey

A report by ZeroFOX states that social media has become the culprit in spreading scams related to Bitcoin because reaching thousands of people is made possible within a few hours – even minutes. Furthermore, social media users are labeled an easy target for these cyber crimes, given digital currency is increasingly becoming the most preferred choice for many.

Bitcoin has paved the way for convenient transactions, especially those illegal in nature. Neither the government nor banks have control over it, and one doesn’t have to provide personal information to have a successful deal. What scammers love most about this is that transactions cannot be reversed once made.

No legit offer is too good to be true

Phil Tully, the senior data scientist at ZeroFOX, said that Bitcoin surveys are used to get people into a scammer’s malware-laden website or app, which will attempt to siphon information from a user. Cyber criminals use various schemes, but as most fraudulent activities work, the scammer ends up walking away from the deal carrying the accumulated money pool.

“Social media provides instant and broadcastable access to a plugged-in cohort of netizens that are most likely to be aware of Bitcoin’s hype, but who also lack the savviness to be able to tell a fake offer from a legit one,” Tully said.

In the end, the best way to avoid becoming a victim of such is to never engage in direct financial transactions on social media. Not a lot of people can't tell whether an app or website is legit or fake, so it’s best just to avoid Bitcoin offers or mining assistance altogether.