November 28, 2018
What is Cryptocurrency Scams and How to Identify Them?
As in any other market, cryptocurrency scams have sprung up everywhere. Some cryptocurrencies have even been scams themselves, being pointed out as Ponzi schemes such as Bitconnect. Other common scams are based on phishing, false bots of trading, malware, and data theft through social networks, paid groups, fake exchange sites, and raffles. In this guide, we show you how to identify these frauds.
It is true that the market for cryptocurrencies has been one of the greatest transfers of wealth in history. We often have trouble distinguishing what is real in a field with so many positive opportunities.
How to Identify Cryptocurrency Scams?
We have used this questionnaire as an appetizer to demonstrate how difficult it can be to identify a scam. But with a little critical analysis, you can see them at first glance. Let’s see some tips:
- If it seems too good to be true, it is most likely a scam. The majority is advertising content manufactured to attract more customers.
- Badly worded phrases: It does not make much sense, right? These companies usually use automatic translation software that often produces incoherent phrases. This is a typical indicator of fraudulent schemes.
- Instant benefits: No platform will multiply your money in less than 24 hours.
- Terms and legal bases: Check all the legal data of the website. Many of these platforms tell the truth under the “disclaimer”. If the website does not even have legal information, add it to your blacklist immediately. These are typical examples of cryptocurrency scams.
Are Cryptocurrencies a Scam?
Let’s make something clear. Cryptocurrencies are one of the most important inventions of the last decade. Although their behavior is very volatile, they are decentralized and do not have a regulatory authority, they do not represent a scam. Its adoption is not yet massive and therefore, some label the market as a “speculative bubble”. With more than 1500 digital currencies in circulation, there are some projects that are fraudulent or that simply do not have success or acceptance in the community.
Common Examples of Cryptocurrency Scam
Now let’s see some examples of the most common frauds found in the world of digital currency.
Phishing or identity theft
This is one of the most common and riskiest cryptocurrency scams. It happens when a hacker poses as a platform or website. The scammer makes an exact copy of the website but hosts it in another domain with a similar name.
Not only happens on websites, but there are also scammers who create mobile applications that pass themselves off as popular platforms. Thus, they are able to steal your email and password. Then, they can steal all your funds.
You have to be especially careful with phishing since there is no going back. The platform will not be able to return the stolen money to you since someone started the session with your own username and password.
Identify phishing sites
The first thing is to check that the URL of the website is correct. Be careful! Some scammers make subtle changes that are hard to notice, for an example: https://www.blttrex.com instead of https://www.bittrex.com.
Also, check that your connection is secured with the HTTPS protocol. In most browsers, you can check it next to the address bar.
To be more exhaustive, you can check the SSL certificate information that encrypts the connection, making it secure like Fruxinfo agency.
You can see the information of the owner of the certificate, the issuer and the expiration date. This certificate validates that the site is legitimate and reliable.
Phishing in social networks
The phishing can also be seen in some social networks. The most common is probably Twitter and FaceBook, where some scammers pose as the customer service of some exchange platform. Using the same profile picture and a username with small changes, they are able to steal data from some users. To detect these scams, follow the instructions in the “social networks” section of this guide.
An extremely useful tool to avoid cryptocurrency scams coins is two-factor authentication. This utility considerably reduces the chances of your funds being stolen. Activate it whenever it is available. You will need a mobile phone where you can check the second safety factor. This key changes every 30 seconds, which disables the scammer even if he knows your main password.