Crypto Crimes – How to Stay Safe in the Cryptoverse


Sadly, even the relatively youthful crypto industry has found room for scammers. From time to time, we read news about hacks, money laundering, and other unpleasant things connected to the crypto space. In today’s post, we’ll go over some of the most frequently encountered crimes in the Cryptosphere and we’ll tell you how you can stay on the safe side. Let’s dive in…

Wallet & Exchange Hacks

While it’s no simple task to hack a crypto exchange, some have fallen victim to hacks. Due to large operational volumes, exchanges are a prize-target for criminals. Fortunately, only a few of them have succeeded. Most often, hackers work in teams, and according to statistics, most of the hacks have been performed by just two criminal groups.

As for wallets, the most common reason for having hot wallets hacked is their relative vulnerability. One of the most popular ways to hack a hot wallet is to infect the owner’s computer with a  virus.

Here’s what you can do to protect your portfolio, wherever it is…

  1. Only use licensed exchanges who run the full-scope of security measures – like CoinMetro – we vet all users with our KYC/AML procedures, we have IP verification, mobile phone verification and two-factor authentication. Security always comes first for us, as it should to you;
  2. Get a good VPN, to mask your IP;
  3. Always check that the URL in your address bar is the official URL of the exchange you’re visiting. For example, when logging in to CoinMetro, it should look like this:
  4. Run your browser in incognito mode;
  5. Acquire a good anti-virus program.

ICO Scams

At the present time, ICO’s are not regulated, and, according to various accounts, at least 50% of the initiated ICO’s are a scam. Such companies are created just to collect contributors’ money and disappear. Due to lack of regulation, scam ICO owners (often with fictional identities) are not held legally responsible, therefore for contributors, there is almost no chance to get their hard-earned money back. Not good.

Phishing is another form of ICO scam. Phishing is when a clone of a real ICO site is created and this fake site records the credentials that users enter, as they assume they’re on the real site. Again, check that URL in the address bar. If it doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t. Get out of there!

How to avoid mistakes when contributing to an ICO?

  1. Study the project’s White Paper inside and out, if it is legit, you’ll definitely know. If anything smells bad, it’s probably not worth the risk;
  2. Carefully check over the team: it should consist of real people and they should be easily contactable;
  3. Check ICO listing sites: normally they check ICO projects thoroughly and their ratings are, on-the-whole, trustworthy.

Money Laundering

The crypto industry is still a little marred by money laundering scandals that plagued its earlier years. Exchanges with weak AML (Anti-Money Laundering) and KYC policies should not be trusted, simply because they’re not taking the appropriate measures to limit nefarious actors from joining the user-base.

We at CoinMetro take AML and KYC checks extremely seriously. There’s nothing more important to us than the safety and security of our clients and their funds. We’re strict in our policies because we know that they work. All of our users are required to send us documents proving that they are who they claim to be. These documents are then vetted by our in-house Compliance team. Users who wish to trade larger sums are required to complete a source of wealth check.

In a previous blog article, we explained why our KYC procedure is so important and why it’s actually a good thing for our users, our company, and the industry in general.

A Regulated, Licensed and Compliant Exchange

There’s really only one way of protecting yourself from crypto crimes – being vigilant and sensible, as far as possible. This is YOUR money, remember – it’s your responsibility to look after it. The best advice we can give you is to ensure you’re using a regulated, licensed and compliant cryptocurrency exchange, like CoinMetro. We’ll even pay you in crypto for signing up and passing your KYC! Try it today.

Sign up for free

See you next time,

The CoinMetro Team