Cryptocurrency fever is still going strong since the Bitcoin was introduced more than 10 years ago. Along with the open exchange markets came the cybercriminals preying on unsuspecting victims. Cybercrime nowadays is in full swing, costing the users almost $400 million so far this year. The latest Onecoin scheme robbed people of $4.4 billion and damaged the users’ trust in cryptocurrencies overall. Ponzi schemes became so sophisticated that even the seasoned investors were unable to see through it, and people continue buying it even after the first reports of fraud emerged.
Talking about it and raising awareness about cryptocurrencies helped a bit, but not enough. There are still many defrauded consumers helpless in returning their money. Crime has been taking a toll on the crypto world, in general, damaging the confidence in digital coins. In the meantime, opposers are having a field day, pointing fingers in every digital currency out there claiming that it’s just another doomed hype. In a way, they have a right.
The truth is, there have been many frauds regarding cryptocurrencies causing many losses, not only financial. To read more about infamous cryptocurrencies scams visit incrediblethings.com.
Phishing is exactly that – criminals are fishing for your personal data by sending you an email that looks like it was sent from your bank, hoping that you will take the bait, click the link, and put in all private information in an unsecured website. It’s a very simple fraudulent activity that still manages to fool people into sharing their private details. Criminals consider this to be a hit-or-miss opportunity since some users were able to dodge the bullet.
Others, unfortunately, are taken for all they have with cyber crooks emptying their wallets. There are some steps you can take to double-check the source of the email like calling your bank and see if they sent you any links. Also, never share your key with anyone. Ever. No one is supposed to ask you to give away your key, and if they do, stay clear form them. It’s a fraud.
2. Fake markets and e-wallets
If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck, right? Well, no, not when it comes to crypto exchange markets. Cybercriminals got creative lately and came up with the whole fake markets that look exactly like the legitimate stock exchange. They attract users with fat bonuses pressuring them to open an account.
Once they fall for the marketing trick, their deposits get slammed with outrageously high fees, making withdrawals virtually impossible and, in the end, cleaning their accounts completely. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Ridiculously high earning interests will look testing but be aware, this a typical fraud scheme.
Fake e-wallets are another, similar trap. Crooks have created fake apps that will offer e-wallets for storing cryptocurrency. Once the person downloads the app, it’s an open season for criminals to steal every single key, passcode, and every other personal information that you have. Stick to the trusted names who have been on the market for a long time to avoid scammers.
3. Phony taxmen
Nigerian scam has been polished and ready to use in the crypto world. Fake IRS agent will contact the unwitting consumer claiming that he or she owes back taxes that can be paid only in cryptocurrency. They will try to rush the users, pressing them to pay as soon as possible to avoid any additional penalties and interest.
A very old plot that plays well even today. Further, don’t be played by the trick to transfer large sums of money for someone else that will, in return, earn you a big chunk of that cash. You will be out for everything that you put in, for sure.
4. Fake ICO
Initial coin offering is something that many investors are hoping for to happen, again. Bitcoin debuted a long time ago, and we haven’t seen any new boom since. Buying coins when they first hit the market can bring you huge income with a bit of luck.
Experienced traders can predict with some level of certainty whether or not the new coin will reach the popularity and gain value over time. This expectation opened the door for scammers to introduce many next-big-thing coins, pushing investors and common users to buy. The only problem is that these coins do not exist at all. The only ones making money are cyber crooks.
Hopes and dreams of becoming millionaire quickly turn into dust in no time. Instead of falling for the latest hype, do your research before investing a dime.
Like it’s not enough that we have to watch out for hackers, now we have fake hackers. They operate by contacting people, usually via email, claiming to possess incriminating evidence of doubtful activities, or photos, camera stills or videos of people doing embarrassing things, and so on, and that they gained unlimited access to your computer.
In order to not publish this information on every social media platform and sending them to your employer or family members, they ask for their silence to be paid in cryptocurrency. Criminals are aware that this type of fraud is not always going to work, but they count on that 10% to 20% of people who actually believe them.
The fact is, no one ever had any information on you, and certainly not the full gateway to your personal data. They just sent an email and wait for people to fall for it.
6. Ponzi, pyramid and MLM
Classic schemes that keep generating income for cybercriminals over and over again. A promoter convinces people to invest in their scheme promising some returns in the beginning, with a lot more to come later in the game. Investors put in some money, and they almost always get their interest.
The truth is that this money comes from other, new traders that fell for it too. Then, they convince more users to join presenting their own example. People easily go for it, invest, and draw in more consumers. This is how the pyramid is built, with people on all levels investing only in criminals’ pockets.
Sooner or later, the scheme collapses, leaving investors empty-handed, and crooks rubbing their hands.