Crypto Scams – How to Avoid Them
When an industry or area is thriving, capital and wealth moves in. But so do the scammers. Here’s our guide on crypto scams and what you can do to stay safe.
What Kind of Crypto Scams Are Out There?
The list is as long as one’s arm but let me bring out the most popular ones. Some try to sell you snake oil, some are pyramid schemes, some infect your computer or maliciously try to get access to your login details. Let’s look at some of the most popular ones.
Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information or data, such as usernames, passwords and credit card details or other sensitive details, by impersonating oneself as a trustworthy entity in a digital communication.
For example you may receive an email stating that there’s a problem with your account and you need to take action immediately. Usually domains that are used are very similar to the company the scammers are impersonating. For example: coinnmetro.com. Phishing is a very popular crypto scam, they target well known brands and sadly, it is very effective.
By clicking on a link in these kinds of emails you will most likely be redirected to a website that also looks legitimate, but by entering your email and password you do not log in but send these details to the scammers. It is very easy.
It is estimated that 88% of companies around the world experienced phishing attacks in 2019.
How to protect yourself against phishing?
- Always make sure you’re on coinmetro.com
- Setup 2-Factor Authentication
- Don’t login to accounts directly through a link via email
- Check the domain/sender of suspicious emails
You’ve probably seen this type of crypto scams all over social media. Even the mighty have fallen with this one. There were hackers in 2020 that got access to prominent twitter accounts tweeting that if you send them some bitcoin, they’ll double it.
This kind of crypto scam still happens often on social media – particularly in the comments. So if you see someone asking you to send some crypto their way, remember that crypto transactions are irreversible. This means if you send them your crypto, you will not get it back. And let’s be honest, they will not be doubling your money.
Some websites promise massive returns or gains on your investment. All you need to do is download some software. This is another crypto scam that is out there. What commonly happens is that criminals create a website with the same branding as a reputable company.
They then offer some prizes or rewards, provided you download something from their site.
What kind of a crypto scam is this? Most likely a computer virus that gives the scammers access to all your logins which means they can do a world of harm.
Here is an example of criminals targeting people using our branding. This website asked you to download some software and then create an account/login to your CoinMetro account.
⚠️ If you have been to coinmetro-wallet.com and clicked on any links, please take action immediately and scan your computer for malware. Disconnect the computer from the internet. Change all of your passwords and setup 2fa⚠️
We have taken action to get this website taken down and we’ve also notified the authorities. Crypto scams do not go unpunished.If you see anything suspicious or think that someone is impersonating us or have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Our support team works around the clock to make sure you have all the info.
This is another very popular crypto scam that criminals use to take the money of unsuspecting victims. This also is not just tied to crypto scams but is widely used in any area. This is the essence of it:
A Ponzi scheme (/ˈpɒnzi/, Italian: [ˈpontsi]; also a Ponzi game) is a form of fraud that lures investors and pays profits to earlier investors with funds from more recent investors. The scheme leads victims to believe that profits are coming from product sales or other means, and they remain unaware that other investors are the source of funds. A Ponzi scheme can maintain the illusion of a sustainable business as long as new investors contribute new funds, and as long as most of the investors do not demand full repayment and still believe in the non-existent assets they are purported to own.
This, just as two of the other types of crypto scams mentioned above, takes advantage of a key psychological aspect of human nature – greed. Wouldn’t we all want to be the ones investing in something that makes us rich overnight? Absolutely!
The key thing about ponzi schemes is that there is no product that they are selling. They promise you’ll make more money when more people invest. But where does that money come from? Investors are probably paid out something in the start, then upsold more investments promising even higher returns. At some point the music stops.
Some of the recent bigger crypto scams using the ponzi scheme were OneCoin and Bitconnect for example.
How to Keep Safe from Crypto Scams?
Be vigilant. Keep your eye out for offers that seem too good to be true. Usually scammers press on urgency. You need to do something immediately. Or there is a problem – log in now, someone is trying to hack you! Quite the double bluff isn’t it.
Every year millions of people fall victim to fraud – this is not something tied to just crypto, it happens in every industry.
Make sure you do your due diligence, don’t click on any suspicious links. If you do see some crypto scams about, report them to your local authority and to the brand that is being taken advantage of.
Here’s to sum up what you can do to avoid falling victim to crypto scams:
- Watch out for similar domains. Our domains are only coinmetro.com & go.coinmetro.com.
- Phishing attacks – emails stating there’s a problem and asking you to login or for your details. To be safe, go to coinmetro.com directly.
- Very lucrative giveaways or airdrops. “Send us 0.2BTC and we will double it”. If something sounds a bit too good to be true, it probably is.
- Beware of malicious links and any downloads from sites that impersonate us.
As awareness and popularity of crypto grows, so do the crypto scams. Avoiding them can be difficult as these scammers are incredibly clever. Keep the key pointers we’ve just told you about crypto scams that are out there in mind and check your hardware for malicious viruses and downloads.
The internet is often a wild west and there are many crypto scams out there and presumably there will be many more. Collectively we can make the web a safer place by being vigilant and reporting malicious activity.