Crypto No-Nos

Avoid becoming a victim of cryptocurrency scams.

A bearded man in a blue shirt and beige pants is seated at a wooden desk, engrossed in their smartphone and laptop which display various financial graphs.

Cryptocurrency has become a popular investment in our digital world. Because more people are investing in this alternate form of currency, there’s also been an increase in related scams.

Get to know common crypto scams along with their red flags to help you avoid being cheated out of your hard-earned money.

Phishing Attacks

What it looks like: Scammers send fake emails or create fraudulent websites that mimic legitimate crypto exchanges or wallets. Unsuspecting users provide their personal information (like private keys or login credentials), which the scammers then exploit.

Red flags:

  • Suspicious, unsolicited emails requesting personal information
  • Misspelled URLs
  • Offers that seem too generous or urgent

Pig Butchering

What it looks like: Someone from an unknown/wrong number “accidentally” messages you, then tries to develop a relationship with you. Once they’ve earned your trust, they encourage you to invest in a “guaranteed returns” crypto fund which requires downloading a particular app. Unfortunately, the app is run by scammers and, once you’ve sent them enough funds, they’ll take your money and disappear.

Red flags:

  • Unsolicited texts or messages through social media
  • Being instructed to download an app or click a link
  • “Get-rich-quick” claims

Fake ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings), Fraudulent Exchanges and Wallets

What it looks like: Scammers create fake ICOs and set up websites or apps that appear legitimate but are designed to capture users' private keys or login credentials to steal funds. They promise high returns but what they’re actually offering are worthless or non-existent tokens.  

Red flags:

  • Offering massive profits without any risk
  • Asking for excessive fees or personal information
  • Lacking clear information about the team, technology or project
  • Lacking a functional product
  • Lacking security features, like SSL certificates, on their websites
  • Using pressure tactics such as urging you to invest quickly before missing out
  • No reputation or reviews available

Some best practices to follow if you’re considering investing in cryptocurrency:

  • Do thorough research before investing
  • Keep cryptocurrency in secure wallets
  • Never share private keys
  • Use multi-factor authentication
  • Be cautious with wallet links

Anytime there is a sense of urgency, a promise of high returns with little risk or a lack of clear information about an investment or company, protect yourself and your money by moving on. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is!

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