What are Bitcoin scams?
Bitcoin Scams are a broad term that includes a wide variety of digital schemes. They can have many different, seemingly-related descriptions, depending on the audience. Some of the more prominent cryptocurrency scams are:
- Bank/wire transfer scams
- Fast money transfers
- Payment fraud
- Offshore-based platforms
- Fake merchant sites
- Social Media
Fake cryptocurrency websites
Some of these scams target new investors or consumers, while others target established businesses.
Here are some of the most common types of cryptocurrency scams, in descending order:
Bank transfer scams:
If you’ve recently been dealt a bill, one of your biggest concerns is how to pay it.
How to avoid Bitcoin scams
While cryptocurrency investments are legal in most states and countries, it’s always best to exercise caution. Investing in cryptocurrency startups and trading virtual currencies is full of risk. To minimize risk, always consult with an attorney. Additionally, consider a password manager or two for your data. Password managers like Dashlane encrypt and generate secure passwords, preventing cyber criminals from accessing your personal information and passwords.
In addition to limiting your exposure to cryptocurrency scams, you can also work to cut back on the number of bitcoin wallets in your digital wallet. You want to have enough to meet all your daily activities, but don’t want to hold more bitcoin than you can afford to lose.
What are the setups of a Bitcoin scam?
The best way to spot a Bitcoin scam is to observe and take note of how they advertise their services. Most bitcoin scammers promote their businesses in extremely vague ways. They don’t usually give a roadmap of what to expect if you decide to purchase their service. Some tricks they might use to entice you into buying their products are:
Promising high profits
Promising no commission fees
Making misleading claims about benefits your wallet will get
There are times when crypto scams employ multilingual marketing strategies. For example, a new Italian crypto startup uses a unique way of advertising by including a colorful and friendly song on their website.
The most popular Bitcoin scam
Many people believe Bitcoin is a simple digital currency that can be exchanged for dollars and euros online, and can therefore be a popular target for scammers. However, unlike real currencies, Bitcoin is decentralized, meaning that no one has control over its supply or value. Because of this, there are literally billions of dollars worth of Bitcoin circulating the internet, which can make it extremely hard to track down and apprehend its creators.
On January 5, 2017, a cryptocurrency exchange in Korea called Youbit shut down after suffering from a hacking incident that left it insolvent. According to a post on the exchange’s blog, the exchange had hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin, which enabled a hacker to steal over 36 million of the coins.
You don’t have to become a cryptocurrency investor to find financial success in the space. Thanks to its rapidly increasing value, Bitcoin’s appeal to startups is likely to increase in the coming years. However, it’s still an unregulated industry and a beginner’s market. In this new sector, you have to pay attention to your own set of red flags and common traps. Remember to always do your research and make your decision about what digital currency company to work with based on your personal risk tolerance and the amount of money you’re willing to invest.