People all over the world are learning about cryptocurrencies and becoming interested in investing in cryptos. Popular tokens like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin are common discussion topics among investors. Now, there are cryptocurrency exchanges where people can make trades, and more businesses are starting to accept digital currency as payment for their products or services.
Unfortunately, this also makes it more likely for crypto scams to take place. In fact, there were thousands of investment scam records received by the FTC, with losses of over $80 million.
You must be cautious when working with cryptocurrency investments if you do not want to experience profit loss. Therefore, here are the 3 most common cryptocurrency scams and how to avoid them.
Fake Websites and Mobile Applications
You may come across many cryptocurrency investment websites or mobile applications when you’re searching for a reliable platform. Unfortunately, in an attempt to steal people’s information and money, scammers will go to any lengths, even if that means creating fake websites and applications.
A large number of websites have been created so that they look the same as the original websites. Sometimes, their interface and promises will be enough to convince someone to buy cryptocurrencies, when in reality it is all a scam.
Usually, scam platforms will send you to a different platform to make the payment. For instance, the URL may look correct at first glance, but looking closer will allow you to see that there may be a small replacement there, like an “o” replaced with a zero.
As you can imagine, these platforms will not take you to the crypto investment you were looking for but will have personal goals instead. This is why you must pay attention to the websites you are accessing.
Legit platforms will not make random replacements in their URL. Furthermore, a legit platform will start with an “HTTPS” and will feature a small lock near the URL bar, indicating security.
Fake applications, on the other hand, can be accessed from the Apple App Store and Google Play. Unfortunately, not everyone can tell a fake app from a legit one, and they will end up downloading the wrong kind of application to their phone.
Stakeholders will discover these fake apps many times and remove them, but until then, some people will be affected. For example, Bitcoin News reported that thousands of people have downloaded scam crypto apps to their phones already.
To avoid downloading a fake app, you should always make sure that the branding looks right, with the correct logo and coloring. Also, the name and description of the app should not have any misspellings. In case of a scam, you may have to consult lawyers for cryptocurrency fraud defense to advise you on what to do next.
If you spend a lot of time on the Internet, perhaps you’ve seen businesspeople and celebrities talking about cryptocurrencies many times. People are more likely to trust a high-profile celebrity when it comes to cryptos – therefore, they will be more likely to enter giveaways if any is promoted.
Sadly, scammers know this very well and use this as an opportunity to take advantage of victims. They tend to pose as celebrities or businesspeople on social media and post about giving away cryptocurrency tokens.
People who wish to join the giveaway usually have to send money. To make people more likely to send money, they will say that more money will be sent back to the participants.
But this is a lie, as all they will do is take your hard-earned money and disappear.
Some scammers would do anything to receive money from you. One very common scam is the blackmail one. It involves someone calling you, claiming that they have embarrassing or incriminating information about you that they will release to the public if you don’t send them cryptocurrencies. They claim to have the information in video or picture form, and they threaten to send it to all your contacts.
In reality, the claim is made up, and they have no such information. However, out of fear, many people may end up making payments in cryptocurrencies to these scammers.
If you receive such threats, you should report these attempts to the FBI directly.
Unfortunately, crypto scams are too common, and unsuspicious people can become victims if they’re not careful. Don’t trust every platform or celebrity out there that easily. Do your research before buying any crypto or joining crypto giveaways. And if someone threatens you to send them crypto funds, report them to the FBI.