Common Bitcoin Scams and how to avoid them.
Bitcoin is a borderless digital currency which provides a lucrative opportunity for cryptocurrency scammers.
Fraudsters will continue to look for a place to thrive as long as new technology is introduced into the world. Unfortunately, because Bitcoin is a borderless digital currency, it provides a lucrative opportunity for cryptocurrency scammers.
In the blockchain realm, there are a number of cryptocurrency frauds. Blackmail, fraudulent exchanges, fake giveaways, social media phishing, copy-and-paste malware, phishing emails, ponzi and pyramid scams, and ransomware are just a few of the most popular.
It is important to understand that the decentralized structure of Bitcoin allows you to maintain complete control over your money. However, it makes establishing a comprehensive regulatory and law enforcement system more difficult. If scammers are successful in convincing you to make mistakes while using Bitcoin, they may be able to steal your BTC, and there is nothing you can do to retrieve it.
It’s critical to understand how con artists operate and how to spot potential red flags. There are numerous Bitcoin scams to be aware of, but some are more prevalent than others. As a result, we’re going to look at eight of the most prevalent Bitcoin scams and how to avoid them.
Common Cryptocurrency Scams (And how to avoid them!)
Scammers frequently use blackmail to threaten individuals with the publication of sensitive information unless they are compensated in some way. This compensation is frequently in the form of cryptocurrency, particularly Bitcoin.
Scammers use sensitive information about you that they either find or fabricate to force you to transfer them bitcoin or other types of money.
The greatest method to avoid being blackmailed out of your bitcoins by scammers is to be cautious when choosing your login credentials, which websites you visit online, and who you share your information with. When two-factor authentication is possible, it’s also a good idea to use it. If you know the information they’re using to blackmail you is untrue, you might be safe.
- Fake exchanges
Fake exchanges, as the term implies, are forgeries of actual cryptocurrency exchanges. These frauds are typically marketed as mobile apps, but they can also be found as desktop applications or fraudulent websites. You must be cautious because some phony exchanges appear to be identical to the real ones. They may appear respectable at first glance, but their primary objective is to defraud you of your funds.
These phony exchanges typically entice crypto traders and investors by providing free cryptocurrencies, competitive pricing, minimal exchange costs, and sometimes free gifts.
You should bookmark the true URL and double-check it before logging in to avoid being duped on a fraudulent exchange. Binance Verify may also be used to verify the legitimacy of URLs, Telegram groups, Twitter accounts, and other things.
When it comes to mobile apps, double-check the developer’s information, the number of downloads, the number of reviews, and the number of comments.
- Fake giveaways
Fake giveaways are designed to defraud you of your cryptocurrency by promising something in return for a little payment. Scammers will usually ask you to pay money to a bitcoin address first so that you may get additional bitcoins in return (e.g., “send 0.1 BTC to receive 0.5 BTC”). However, if you conduct these bitcoin transactions, you will not get anything and your cash would be lost forever.
Fake giveaway scams come in a variety of forms. Some scams may ask for other cryptocurrencies instead of BTC, such as ETH, BNB, XRP, and others. They might ask for your private keys or other sensitive information in some instances.
Scammers target popular tweets, viral stories, and announcements on Twitter and other social media platforms to create fake freebies (like a protocol upgrade or an upcoming ICO).
The simplest method to prevent being a victim of a bogus giveaway scam is to never enter any giveaway that requires you to contribute something of value first. Genuine freebies will never require money.
- Social Media Phishing
Social media phishing, like counterfeit giveaways, is a typical Bitcoin scam that you’ll most likely come across on social media. Scammers will develop an account that seems like it belongs to someone with a lot of influence in the crypto world (this is also known as impersonation). Then they’ll send out phony freebies via Twitter or direct chat messages.
Double-checking that the individual is who they claim they are is the greatest approach to prevent getting defrauded by social media phishing. On various social networking networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, there is frequent evidence indicating this, such as blue checkmarks.
- Copy and paste Malware
Scammers use copy-and-paste malware to take your money in a very subtle way. This form of spyware takes over your clipboard data and, if you’re not careful, sends money to fraudsters directly.
Let’s imagine you wish to give your friend Bob a Bitcoin payment. He offers you his bitcoin address, which you may copy and paste into your bitcoin wallet, as is customary. If your device is infected with copy-and-paste malware, however, the scammer’s address will immediately replace Bob’s when you paste it. This implies that your bitcoin payment will be in the scammer’s hands as soon as it is transmitted and verified, and Bob will get nothing.
To prevent being a victim of this sort of fraud, you must exercise extreme caution when it comes to computer security. Be aware of communications or emails that appear to contain contaminated attachments or harmful URLs. Pay close attention to the websites you visit and the applications you install on your computer or mobile device. Installing an antivirus and checking for dangers on a regular basis is also a good idea. It’s also critical to maintain the operating system (OS) on your device up to date.
- Phishing Emails
Phishing comes in a variety of forms. One of the most popular is the use of phishing emails to persuade you into downloading an infected file or clicking a link that takes you to a malicious website that seems legitimate. When they impersonate a product or service you use often, these emails are very harmful.
Scammers tend to add a message urging you to take immediate action to protect your account or assets. They may request that you update your account information, change your password, or upload documents. The majority of the time, their purpose is to obtain your login credentials in order to attempt to breach your account.
The first step in avoiding phishing email scams is to double-check that the emails are from a legitimate source. If you’re still unsure, you can call the company directly to verify that the email you got came from them. Second, you may verify the URLs for misspellings, odd characters, or other anomalies by hovering over them (without clicking).
You should avoid clicking the links even if you can’t locate any red flags. If you need to access your account, you should use other methods such as manually inputting the URL or bookmarks.
- Ponzi and Pyramid Scams
Ponzi and pyramid schemes are two of the most well-known financial con games ever devised. A Ponzi scheme is an investing method in which new money is used to pay returns to older investors. The money stops flowing when the con artist can no longer attract fresh investors.
Doing your research on the cryptocurrencies you acquire – whether an altcoin or Bitcoin – is the greatest method to avoid either of these schemes. You’ve probably stumbled onto a Ponzi or pyramid scheme if the value of a cryptocurrency or Bitcoin fund is solely dependent on fresh investors or members joining it.
Ransomware is a sort of virus that locks or stops users from accessing valuable data on their mobile or computer devices unless a ransom is paid (usually in BTC). When aimed at hospitals, airports, and government facilities, these attacks can be particularly devastating.
Typically, ransomware would encrypt important files or databases and threaten to remove them if payment is not made by a certain date. However, there is no certainty that the assailants will follow through on their vow.
You can defend yourself against ransomware attacks by doing the following:
- Install an antivirus program and maintain your operating system and software up to date.
- Ads and questionable links should be avoided.
- Email attachments should be avoided. Files that end in.exe,.vbs, or.scr should be treated with caution.
- Regularly backup your files so that you can restore them if you become infected.
- At NoMoreRansom.org, you’ll find helpful ransomware prevention advice as well as free recovery tools.
There are numerous Bitcoin scams to be aware of. Knowing how these scams work, on the other hand, is a vital first step toward entirely avoiding them. You’ll be able to keep your crypto possessions secure and healthy if you can avoid the most typical Bitcoin frauds.