October 28, 2022

“On my TikTok, there’s constantly some new Fred Schebesta that comes in and asks people to WhatsApp them about some new hot cryptocurrency project,” Finder boss Fred Schebesta (the real one) says.

“It looks like a scam, and it almost always is, but it’s very hard to stop the bots. It just constantly happens.”

‘I don’t accept phone calls, I don’t click on emails, I don’t respond to text messages anymore.’

Finder CEO Fred Schebesta

Like Green, Schebesta has had his identity stolen and used to sign up for buy now, pay later products. He’s also had particularly ambitious scammers try to set up post office boxes in his name, tactics that have forced the founder to be very cautious when taking calls and messages.

“I don’t accept phone calls, I don’t click on emails, I don’t respond to text messages anymore unless I know who you are,” he says.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) generally runs a tight ship when it comes to tracking down and alerting people to scams, with its ScamWatch division tracking 18,000 different scam reports in November alone.

However, the regulator admits its data on the sort of impersonation scams plaguing the crypto space is limited. “It’s not the most common form of these scams that we see, but it’s certainly amongst the ones that have been reported,” deputy chair Delia Rickard says.

Rickard says the regulator has a handful of case studies where victims have fallen for these scams, providing…

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