As per a US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report, more than $2 million in cryptocurrency has been sent to Elon Musk impersonators in the past six months! Yes, it shows how much scammers have grown in the crypto world and reflects how easy it is to fool people. But it’s worth noting that this isn’t the only crypto scam. So, if you want to stay safe from crypto scams, then this article is for you. Make sure to send this article to your friends because it’s easy to fall prey to different types of crypto scams. Without any further delay, let’s begin.
Crypto giveaway scams
This is the most common type of scam. And it’s lucrative to miss out on the opportunity as well. Scammers are impersonating celebrities like Elon Musk and Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos. They tell users that they can get double their money back (or something similar) if they deposit their cryptocurrency to a particular address.
Usually, such frauds happen over social platforms like Twitter and YouTube, and they exploit users’ greed and the trust factor in the celebrity. In the end, however, users lose their crypto holding, whereas scammers rake in millions.
This is the easiest scam to avoid. Instead of following any technique, you need to believe in the mantra of “There’s no such thing as a free lunch“, and then ignore such celeb giveaways. You can also be more vigilant and check the profiles of the people who share info about such giveaways to be sure rather than hurrying up and depositing crypto.
Crypto phishing scams
This isn’t a new scam considering phishing has been happening in various shapes and forms before cryptocurrencies. Basically, scammers ask you to log in / share your details to a website that isn’t authentic. These websites’ URL reads similar to the original one, and hence the users get confused. Once you have provided your login details or sensitive info, then scammers use that to scrape money off your account.
This is another problem that requires a low-tech solution. Basically, along with having a common sense to check the website address thoroughly (0 instead of o, 1 instead of l, etc.), you should check whether the website has HTTPS in the URL since that’s a sign of a secure website. Another important thing to note is not clicking on the website links on the email, SMS, ads on search / social media, and opening the link to the website on your own. Implementing two-factor authentication is also a good idea.
Fake tech support scams for crypto
We all know that storing crypto isn’t the same as any other currency. It would help if you remembered the authentication details as well as a special phrase. And hence, more than not, we need some assistance from the support team of the exchange/wallet service. Sadly, a lot of scammers on Telegram manage to dupe people in this manner. They ask you to share your details to help you log in, and in the process, manage to take out all your money. Since you yourself shared the account details, you can’t even register a complaint about the same.
Once again, ensure that you remember your authentication details yourself so that you don’t need to reach out to the support team. If you do, do it through official communication channels on the website rather than Telegram or social media. Note that no support person will ask for your computer’s remote access or ask for authentication details itself, as they’ll point you in the right direction.
Crypto investment opportunity scams
This isn’t much different from giveaway scams – as it also exploits the greed – except for the fact that it’s much more elaborate and looks legitimate from the outside. Along with fake cryptocurrencies, even fake cryptocurrency exchanges are quite common. And you could guess, if you either invest in a fake virtual currency or use such an exchange, your cryptocurrency is in the hands of scammers. Even pump and dump schemes are also quite common where several people say that they’ll increase the price of the coin and then dump it once it reaches a target.
Make sure that you invest in the cryptocurrencies after due diligence. Even if someone tells you about a shiny new project, don’t invest blindly, and first, understand it better, see where all it has been listed, etc. Similarly. Only use renowned trading exchanges instead of a new one.
Blackmail or malware crypto scam
This is technical in nature, where the scammers infect your system. Then they blackmail you into paying them back in cryptocurrency. Otherwise, they’ll reveal some sensitive info or corrupt your device. This usually happens to corporates or big celebrities and not to general users, but you can never be too safe.
As such, it isn’t easy to find out about this beforehand. But you can follow all the security guidelines. For example: using secure Wi-Fi access on your device, using 2FA and other advanced authentication methods, etc. Similarly, it would be best to use a good antivirus on your system, which can detect potential malware. You should also avoid clicking on dubious-looking external links. Similarly, be cautious of email attachments.
Crypto scams are becoming more complex over time. However, the way to beat them is to use technology as well as common sense. Follow the advice mentioned above, and we’re sure that you’ll not lose your hard-earned money. Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list of scams or tips about how to avoid them, so note that you can never be too careful…