NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Hackers are targeting now Cryptocurrency Exchanges like Coinbase and do not allow investors to access their bitcoins.
As interest in cryptocurrencies continues to grow, the security of investment apps is being called into question.
Natalie Duddridge of CBS2 spoke to a Long Island man whose Bitcoin is pending now.
“I think my account was hacked. It had to be done, ”said Frank Pinto.
Pinto started investing in Bitcoin in 2017.
He used an app called Coinbase, which is like an exchange for cryptocurrencies.
He tried to log in a few months ago and instead received a notification saying, “Sorry, account is temporarily disabled. Please contact the support. “
He tried but Coinbase doesn’t have phone support so he sent dozens of emails. They finally responded by saying, “You will receive a response from the customer complaints officer within 15 working days.”
Pinto then received a call from someone who claimed to be from Coinbase and allowed them to access his computer remotely. He later learned that it was a hacker.
“So they… took all of these steps that you think are legitimate. At one point, through this remote access, they said to me, ‘You should log into your bank account as it is linked to your Coinbase account,’ ”Pinto said. “And then I switched on the panic mode and said: No, no, this is definitely a BS call.”
But it was too late. Pinto says a hacker managed to withdraw hundreds of dollars from his regular bank account that were eventually returned to him. But he still can’t get access to his Coinbase account, which is frozen with more than $ 20,000.
Duddridge spoke to tech expert Ian Marlow at FitechGelb.
“Is Coinbase and other crypto exchanges safe to use?” She asked.
“I think the jury obviously didn’t. It’s exciting … Legal has to keep up with technology, ”said Marlow. “People will then start looking at situations like this and saying that regulation is going to be important.”
Until then, according to Marlow, it is up to consumers to understand the risks associated with investing in unregulated assets.
“Would you use Coinbase again after that?” Asked Duddridge Pinto.
“I’m not comfortable with it now, so probably not,” he said.
Since we can’t call them, we emailed Coinbase and received no response.
Their website states that customers’ “cash” is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, but Pinto is still waiting to see if he will ever see his again.
Tech experts say you never give anyone access to your passwords or information, and when a company calls you they always ask to call them back.