Popular Bitcoin Scams and How to Avoid Them
The rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies opened a new door to the world of investments with short, medium and long-term results, thus giving many people the opportunity to partner with futuristic technologies to buy and sell these digital assets.
However, as in all fields where there is money involved, there are also people whose intention is to take advantage of a good investment opportunity to take money from said investors, for instance, Bitcoin or cryptocurrency scams. This happens thanks to misinformation and hoaxes that lead to a tragic deposit to the wallets of these criminals.
There have been many scams related to the crypto ecosystem and there will continue to be, mainly because it is a totally digital field and you can carry out a scam without presenting your face. Lack of knowledge about how the technology of these cryptocurrencies and financial protocols works leads to making mistakes, even if the mistake is to believe in false information and deposit your tokens in a place where you will never get them back.
Common Bitcoin scams and frauds
The efforts of every scammer will always be focused on imitating processes that work through deception to attract potential investors who will believe them. If a criminal created a totally new concept, it would raise more suspicion than if he “offered” a service that other people are already familiar with, such as a crypto wallet, a crypto exchange, cloud mining platforms and card services debit Bitcoin.
Phishing is the attempt to trick the owner of a particular email address through malicious emails into opening it and following its instructions. Considering that the victim is the one who will initiate the scam against himself, he must carefully follow the scammer’s instructions, so they pose as reliable companies and / or initiatives, as could also be a state body, a supplier or client of a company.
The email sent by the attacker could have attached some highly malicious file (as in the case of downloadable documents or links to compromising sites) that, once it is opened or downloaded, damages the user’s computer or incapacitates it through installation. of some malware. In case the attack is targeted with a malicious link, the site to which it takes you usually appears legitimate, but is actually used to collect confidential information, such as usernames and passwords, or to install malware on the device.
A cryptocurrency exchange is the meeting point where people buy Bitcoin with fiat currency and exchange digital assets. In these online exchange platforms is where the market price is generated that marks the value of cryptocurrencies based on supply and demand. These companies usually offer optimized trading services with high ROI (Return on Investment) opportunities, so they would obviously be the target of scammers looking for a trading / exchange platform to invest their money.
We can be wary of exchanges if certain conditions are met that together may indicate that it is a safe scam. First, it is necessary to know if said company is regulated, since if it is, you can be sure that it is a legitimate business and although there are serious platforms that are not regulated, it is impossible for an exchange to scam you under surveillance.
Fraudulent debit card services
Bitcoin debit cards are one of the most common BTC scams in the crypto ecosystem, although it has already gone a bit out of fashion in recent years. These fake debit card providers deceive their customers, making them deposit BTC tokens to their wallets and fill out forms for shipments that will never arrive, or simply arrive and do not work. In the case of this service, 90% of the cases are scams.
However, in countries like Australia they have very little effect because many businesses are accepting payments in Bitcoin and there is a wide availability of ATMs, so there really is no need for a BTC debit card to purchase goods and services.
How to avoid falling in Bitcoin scams?
You can avoid falling for crypto scams by following a series of rules, which will always keep you on the safe line as you learn your way through the world of cryptocurrencies.
- Whenever you are going to deposit your tokens somewhere (regardless of their nature), investigate their policies and the experience of other users on that platform. Make sure that you are putting your money in trustworthy companies and that you will really get the service you are looking for.
- When you are about to log into a wallet or exchange service, check the URL and confirm that it is the official link of the site you are visiting. Many times they create fake pages to steal our data and enter our accounts.
- Any email whose emissary you do not know is spam or a phishing attempt. Keep those emails at bay and always keep them in a spam folder. Never interact with the content of an email whose nature you do not know.
- Do not pay attention to PONZI pyramid schemes where they promise passive profits based on the investment of referrals or people that you will have to look for to receive money, because who is going to lose it is you (and who you invite).
The latest Bitcoin scams in Australia
The Australian Cyber Security Center (ACSC) has issued an official statement addressing the threat of “Sextortions” carried out by cybercriminals, who steal sensitive content or “NSFW” from people and subsequently threaten to release this content. In exchange for not exposing them, the victims must pay amounts in BTC or cash to the extortionists.
The level of alert on the part of the Australian authorities is high and the citizens are also kept abreast of the situation. However, in most cases scammers do not really have sensitive content about their victims and only expect to receive payment through threats, although if you were careless with your devices or private accounts if you could be compromised in a real extortion situation.