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According to a report published by the Washington Post, a large number of false accounts have popped up online that claim to be selling Libra, Facebook’s not-yet-released cryptocurrency. Scammers are attempting to profit from eager investors, but the reality is that the currency isn’t even out yet.

What is Libra?

Cryptocurrencies are a digital form of money that’s encrypted and stored within digital wallets. In very simple terms, it’s generated when computers solve complex computational problems, a process that’s known as ‘cryptocurrency mining‘. Transactions are added to a public ledger, which means that everything can be verified.

One of the most well-known cryptocurrencies that saw a massive explosion in price is Bitcoin, but in reality there are new ones surfacing all the time. Libra is the name of the currency that Facebook is supporting and it will launch next year. It’s already being backed by Mastercard and Visa, plus a number of high-profile businesses.

Scammers target cryptocurrency investors

In the Washington Post report, it’s said that dozens of groups, accounts, and pages have been created across the company’s platforms, including both Facebook and Instagram. These pages claim to be selling the currency and often at a cut price. The accounts are also hijacking Facebook’s official branding to lend legitimacy to their claims.

What’s more, the report highlights how scammers are using a common tactic to try and mislead the public out of their money. One of the digital wallets that will be used for Libra is called Calibra, the website being located at Calibra.com. But the scammers have already got a spoofed website running that uses a special character to replace the ‘i’, making it seem as if you’re visiting the real website when you’re not.

‘There is a deep irony here in Facebook being used as the platform that could undermine trust in the currency Facebook is trying to build trust in.”

Cornell University economic professor speaks to the Washington Post

This comes as poor timing for the company, which is under increased scrutiny and pressure with recent security breaches. One New York Democrat was even quoted as saying that the company shouldn’t launch Libra at all.

“Facebook removes ads and pages that violate our policies when we become aware of them, and we are constantly working to improve detection of scams on our platforms”.

Facebook responds to the Washington Post report

If you’re curious about cryptocurrency, bear in mind that these types of investments are highly volatile, usually even more so than traditional investments. They can see wild swings from day to day, so they’re not for the faint of heart. But if you are intrigued by Libra, just be wary to wait for the official release date and be sure you’re using the real Facebook.

For any questions about security or common scams, get in touch with WiseGuys on 0808 123 2820.