The total worldwide value of cryptocurrency now exceeds $150 billion. It’s grown from a fringe tech movement to becoming a real-world rival for hard currencies. With so much buzz going on in the cryptocurrency world, it’s no surprise there’s more investment going on than ever.
Thanks to tools like the blockchain, by-design cryptocurrencies are safer than traditional currency. But there are still con artists out there trying to rip people off. Like any other sector, they take advantage of inexperience and complicated terminology to dupe unsuspecting victims.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a cryptocurrency billionaire or only recently invested in your first coin. Take a few minutes to review these strategies on how to recognize cryptocurrency scams.
You may be following the latest industry tips from known experts, but can become a victim by visiting counterfeit websites. It doesn’t happen only in the cryptocurrency world. Fraudsters create fake landing pages all the time. They use them to trick people into entering their login credentials or credit card information.
How to recognize such websites? They may look like real deal cryptocurrency organizations. But the domain name can be one or two letters different. Be sure there is a small lock in your URL bar. That means it is an HTTPs or secure website. Verify it before giving over any personal details, no matter what site you visit. Be sure to check links too to confirm they connect you to a secure URL.
Fake Mobile Apps
Cryptocurrency exchanges are the backbone of cryptocurrency. They help you track values, trade, research, and more. But hackers have now created counterfeit apps available in both the Google Play and App store. According to Bitcoin News, thousands of people have downloaded these malicious fakes apps.
Android users are even more vulnerable, as these apps have greater access to device permissions. Be sure to vet any app before downloading it onto your phone.
Fake or Misleading Social Media Postings
Most people make sure they’re following real celebrities and not imposters on social media. The same logic applies to cryptocurrency. Fraudsters have created bots that impersonate real-life cryptocurrency experts or currencies. You might see one on Twitter or Facebook, promising incredible returns. Whatever it is, be careful.
If anybody ever solicits you for even a tiny amount of cryptocurrency, beware you’re not going to be able to get it back. Don’t fall for any tricks.
By now, you should recognize a pattern. Cryptocurrency scams share many features with traditional internet scams. In this case, you need to watch for what looks like emails from legitimate cryptocurrency companies. It might be an opportunity to invest in more coins at the right moment.
But are you sure it is a real company? Is branding similar to your cryptocurrency company? Does the email address trackback to the company?
If you ever have doubts, contact somebody who works for the coin development teams. While you’re at it, never visit their website by opening hyperlinks from email. It is the easiest way to end up on a fake page.
The difference between a legit and scam cryptocurrency is night and day. But sometimes, things aren’t so clear. OneCoin has continued to be one of the biggest scandals in the cryptocurrency world.
On the surface, it looked great. The founder, Ruja Ignatova, had a doctorate in international law. She packed event venues around the world with declarations of how good the coin was. OneCoin brought in over $4 billion before finally starting to slow down. It’s now been declared a Ponzi scheme. Yet, people are still investing in it!
Savvy users caught on early because of issues with the blockchain. But you don’t have to understand all the workings of cryptocurrency. At a minimum, you need a thorough understanding of the basics to prevent getting trapped in a situation like OneCoin.
How to Invest in Cryptocurrency Securely
Many people consider cryptocurrency a boom and bust, gold-rush type sector. In reality, it’s far from that. Like any new area, particularly one involving currency, it does have a few things to keep an eye on.
Cryptocurrency is more secure. You can see everything that happens in the blockchain. It’s also easy to share, and it’s possible even to mine your own.
But like any currency, you do need to protect it. You wouldn’t leave a massive pile of cash lying around your house, so why would you do that with cryptocurrency on your computer? It’s essential to use encryption software for Windows to safeguard your investment. Keep your private key in an encrypted file or encrypted physical drive that you don’t even connect to the internet. It is one way to protect your cryptocurrency assets.
Also, round out your protection by using other security tools like VPNs and firewalls to keep hackers out. You don’t have to be a victim of cryptocurrency scams. Keep safe and follow these tips to keep your investment safe.