Crypto scammers have been around ever since cryptocurrency became a viable method of transaction. They invent new and creative ways to rob the general people of their finances every day.
Cryptocurrency scams are becoming a bigger issue every day. To keep your personal finances safe, today we’ll discuss how to spot crypto scams, and how you can deal with them swiftly.
How to Spot a Cryptocurrency Scam
Just like any other scam, crypto scammers have some obvious signs that you cannot ignore. Here are some obvious red flags you should look out for
Promises of Zero-Risk Investments
There are advertisements that promise you investment in crypto with absolute zero risks. In the world of crypto or any business for that matter, no investment is 100% risk-free. So if someone’s offering such a miraculous opportunity, there’s no doubt that it’s a complete scam.
Guarantee of Making A Lot Of Money Within A Short Time
Any cryptocurrency that offers you guaranteed returns is a definite scam. The crypto market is always fluctuating in terms of value.
Not even the founder of crypto can offer you a guaranteed profit. So there’s no doubt that these offers are just trying to lure you in to take all your money.
You may also see an offering that’s endorsed with verifications from a celebrity. Remember that these can be easily faked or bought, and the value of these certifications is next to zero.
Free Money Offerings
In the modern world, nothing is free when it comes to business and finances. So if someone is offering free money, it’s definitely a scam.
Most scammers offer “free money” in exchange for personal information, which is the bait used to collect the personal information of an individual to exploit them for personal gain.
Big Offering With Zero Proof or Details
If you see an advertisement with “endless opportunities” and there are next to zero details available about the process, there’s no denying that it’s a scam.
The reason behind the hidden details is that the presented opportunity is a total fluke. It can also be not in compliance with the law, and thus cannot be revealed to hide evidence of their malicious actions.
When asked questions about the details of these opportunities, if the founders don’t answer any of the questions, then it’s a scam. An honest financial advisor will always back their data up with valid references and quotes from professionals.
Artificial Sense of Urgency
Scammers always try to make you feel FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). The plan here is to create a fake sense of urgency so that you buy into their schemes. If you see anyone trying to convince you to act right away, there’s no doubt that it’s a scam.
Random Demands Of Money From People You Know
There may be times when you see an old friend or an acquaintance contact you out of nowhere. They will start asking for financial help, but they will ask for the money only through cryptocurrency.
In real life, cryptocurrency cannot be used in daily life situations. So when you see an offer like that, you know for a fact that it’s a scam.
Dating Site Scammers
You might meet a nice person over a dating app who will try to offer you a “safe” way to invest in cryptocurrency. But here’s the thing: never mix up dating advice with financial advice.
The trick is called a “Love trap” and scammers do it often. Here, they impersonate a real human being and try to get you invested in their scams by charming you into a relationship, and gradually, their scheme. If you see it happening, back away right then and there.
How To Detect A Suspicious Crypto Website
There are quite a few ways to tell if a crypto website is not operating in legal ways. Here are a few ways that can make it seem obvious.
The Source Where You Heard It From
The kind of social media where you hear about any crypto website can be a giveaway. Most websites that are not legitimate will always spread words about their site on chat/ community apps rather than social media, and that can be a red flag.
Nowadays, scammers have become more alert and share their scam websites on social media like Instagram, Facebook, etc. Always be on the lookout for such tactics.
SSL Certificate of The Website
A simple way to figure out if a website is secure is to read the URL of the site. If a website is secure with an SSL certificate, the URL will start with “HTTPS”. But if the URL starts with “HTTP” instead, it means that the site has no security.
Any data that you submit to the website is prone to exposure, especially your financial information. So if you find a website with an “HTTP” prefix, avoid it right away.
Typo in The URL
No self-respecting business organization, financial or otherwise, will allow any form of typing mistake anywhere, especially in their URL.
If a website has a typo or spelling error in the URL, it means that the site was created in a rush, and it’s a scam website.
Poor Content on the Site
If a crypto site you enter has content with poor grammar and incorrect sentence structure, It’s another sign that the site was created in a rush to scam people out of their money.
No “About Us” Page
Whenever entering sites like this, first check if there is an about us page. If there isn’t any, or the page doesn’t hold any information that can reveal the company's true objectives of the company's whereabouts, the company is probably a scam.
Though some companies use virtual locations and try to appear real, you can always tell from the way of presenting the information if the website is real or not.
Talks About Crypto Price Without Sharing Details
If the website is only talking about how crypto will go up in price soon without sharing any intricate details, the website is only trying to get a rise out of you and make you invest in their scam.
Whenever you see a prompt like this, leave the website immediately.
The Site Looks Like A Default Template
If you enter a crypto site and the site looks like a stock template that hasn’t been edited or looks like there are too many stock images, there’s a high chance that the website is a complete scam, and none of your information is safe to put in there.
Even when you follow the checklist above, there are chances that you will still encounter a scam website that looks exactly like a legitimate business. Still, the list can help you filter out most sites and reduce your chances of getting scammed.
Whenever you see any signs of a scam, do not enter any kind of information, or click any links. Simply close the tab and exit the website.
Best Practices To Avoid Cryptocurrency Scams
The best security against any kind of scam is your individual awareness. Here are a few simple steps you can take to increase the chances of avoiding different cryptocurrency scams.
Never Share Personal Financial Information or Private Keys
No matter how trustworthy your dealing partners are, never share any kind of information that can be used to locate or access your account in any manner. This especially applies to cryptocurrency wallet keys.
Even when you have to provide financial information, do not give away your personal access keys. Sometimes, scammers will try and convince you that they need your keys to complete the transaction, which is a complete lie.
Always Double Check URLs and Domain Names
When dealing with crypto websites, make sure to double-check the URL and domain name. Take some time to do some research on the website as well.
Check out all the social media handles to check if the website is legitimate or falsely posing as a business to extort money from everyone willing to trade.
You can also check the legitimacy of the website by sending messages to its social media portals. Any legitimate business will always try to connect to its audience in any way possible to maintain business credibility. If you don’t get any responses, the website cannot be trusted.
Beware of Offers That Seem Too Good To Be True
There will always be offers that will promise a ridiculous amount of return on your investment. These offers will always be a scam offer. No legitimate business can offer such a huge ROI rate unless there’s deception involved. So if you see an offer like that, it’s definitely a scam, and you should avoid sharing information with these parties.
Never Reply To People That Contact You Out of The Blue
There are many opportunities that come out of nowhere and offer something amazing. But it’s a red flag in the world of cryptocurrency. If you’re receiving offers without any prior contact, there’s a high chance that the offer is a scam.
The best practice here is to perform all kinds of transactions through official channels that include customer support. You should also check if a crypto site has the option to report any kind of fraudulent activity.
Whenever contacting a customer support official, ensure you are contacting them through official private channels, where you can have one-on-one communication with the individual.
Scammers often impersonate themselves as customer support for reputed tech companies, and so you should always avoid any kind of exchange with customer support over social media platforms.
Do Your Research on Who You Send Crypto To
During regular financial transactions, you would never send money to a bank account that you don’t know about personally. The same goes for cryptocurrency as well.
When sending crypto, only send crypto to a wallet that is controlled by a trusted third party. If someone is claiming to be a legitimate business, you can always verify their claim by making a simple Google search.
Every legitimate company, even crypto agencies, is listed under Google My Business (GMB). If the company has a GMB listing and has positive reviews, then continue the transaction with them.
Never Respond To Threatening Messages
If you are receiving threats or warnings, and the person is asking for cryptocurrency in return, it’s a false alarm. Scammers often try to intimidate people with false threats to scare money out of them in the form of cryptocurrency.