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Rampant Crypto Scams: Can They Be Avoided

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Source: freepik

Cryptocurrency scams are becoming rampant as the frequency of incidents skyrockets. The scammers are using smarter and innovative approaches to defraud their targets.

Moreover, the scams take many forms, which could be quite difficult for a newbie in the crypto industry to spot easily.

According to a blockchain analytics firm’s 2023 Crypto Crime Report, Chainalysis crypto thefts soared in 2022 to hit an all-time high of $20.6 billion.

Also, CNBC reported that crypto scammers stole about $14 billion worth of digital assets in 2021.

This article looks into different crypto scams in the crypto space and how investors can spot and avoid them.

It exposes how scammers target their victims and how you can evade their schemes.

Trending Crypto Scams

Romance Scams

Crypto romance scams come with the façade of love to the targets through online interactions. The scammers will pretend to care about you and could continue the scheme for several months to build trust.

Once they establish a strong confidence in you, they would request that you transfer some crypto assets to them.

Usually, they pay good attention to all information you share with them. They will present good reasons to make you believe them and send them the tokens.

But one outstanding point about them is that they never agree to a physical meeting with you.

According to Federal Trade Commission, about 70,000 victims reported crypto scams with a total loss of $1.3 billion in 2022.

READ ALSO: Is Cryptocurrency Regulation A Good Or Bad Decision

How To Avoid Romance Scams

  • Always research your contacts before making financial deals with them.
  • Remember that most scammers can use pictures of others to create their online profiles. So, you should not be deceived by photos you see on social media accounts.
  • Also, avoid sharing personal information on online platforms.

Pump And Dump Scams

In pump-and-dump scams, the scammers will hype a crypto token or new project and lure people into investing.

They could create forums or communities through Facebook, Twitter, and others. By inflating the price, the scammers will start selling their holdings and subsequently cause the crypto asset to crash.

Before other investors understand what is happening, the crypto coin is already worth nothing.

A typical example is the incident with the SavetheKids crypto scam in 2021 that fronted the objective of helping poor children.

It involved the FaZe clans and a few content creators like RiceGum. Data shows over $80 million was lost through the SavetheKids scam.

How To Avoid Pump And Dump Scam

  • Besides the urge to earn big, always apply your common sense before investing in crypto. These scams can occur in many dimensions.
  • Investigate and analyze the source of the investment messages and hypes.
  • Don’t fall victim because of promises of massive returns. Always remember that it would never be true if it sounded too good to be true.

READ ALSO: Pepe Development Blacklist Suspicious Bot Addresses, Coin Popularity Increase

Giveaway Scams

Crypto assets have become one of the reliable methods for scammers to steal through fake giveaways due to their high speculative nature.

Scammers use social media platforms to create videos and messages with promises of giving followers prominent crypto assets.

Some tokens include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple XRP, Cardano, Dogecoin, and Shiba Inu.

Researcher Satang Narang noted that about $8.9 million was stolen from investors through YouTube Live giveaways in one month.

On Facebook, scammers recently created fake accounts with the photo of Scott Gurney, the winner of a $55 million Lottery.

The scammers deceived people into depositing Bitcoin into their accounts with promises of getting more giveaway prizes.

How To Avoid Giveaway Scams

  • Exercise caution on the growing videos and messages of crypto giveaways on social media platforms. Most of them are scams.
  • Do not transfer crypto assets to any address listed on social media platforms with promises of higher prize rewards.
  • Remove yourself from any suspicious Twitter list to which you could be added. You can do so by blocking the creator.
  • Avoid fake celebrities and crypto influencers

crypto scam

Phishing Scams

In phishing scams, the scammers are interested in retrieving information regarding their victims’ online wallets.

They seek to get details of private keys or account login credentials which will give them access to victims’ crypto assets.

Usually, scammers send emails and messages containing malicious links. By clicking the links, the investor will be redirected to another website that requests login details.

The emails or messages could appear to be from legitimate entities like utility companies, crypto wallet providers, or government agencies.

Phishing scams come in different forms, such as spear phishing, DNS hijacking, fake browser extension, phishing bots, and others.

A report from the blockchain security auditor Hacken revealed that the Ronin Bridge exploited in 2022 was due to a spear phishing scam.

This largest crypto hack in 2022 resulted in losing $624 million worth of crypto assets.

How To Avoid Phishing Scams

  • Don’t use unprotected Wi-Fi networks, as they expose you more to phishing scams.
  • Activate and use two-factor authentication on your devices. This will ensure more security and protection for personal login details.
  • Verify email addresses and others before clicking on links and responses.
  • Don’t respond to messages and emails requesting your login details or password.
  • Always check properly for misspellings and typo errors on fake websites and links. This will help detect and avoid crypto scams.
  • Companies and organizations should organize seminars to enhance employee awareness of safe reporting processes.

Conclusion

Notably, the increase in cryptocurrency adoption comes with rampant crypto scams in the industry. Scammers are getting more sophisticated, adding innovative strategies to their operations.

It is now important that intending investors understand how crypto assets work before investing their money.

But remember, crypto is highly volatile and speculative, with several underlying risks. Always invest the much you can bear to lose in cryptocurrency.

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