facebook twitter WhatsApp linkedin
Table of Content:

Crypto scams have been a thing ever since cryptocurrency became a viable method of transaction. Crypto scammers are coming up with new and inventive ways to rob the general public of their digital assets, making it a bigger issue with each passing day.

In this article, we'll share some tips on how to spot common cryptocurrency scams, and how you can deal with them efficiently to keep your personal finances safe from this growing threat.

How to Spot a Cryptocurrency Scam

Just like any other scam, crypto scams also have some obvious signs that are hard to ignore. Here are some obvious red flags that you should look out for:

Promises of Zero-Risk Investments

Some projects in the cryptocurrency space would promise unrealistically high returns with minimal or almost zero risk. Offers like this are clear signs of investment scams.

It's common sense that no form of business or investment is 100% risk-free, and the same applies to crypto. If anyone is offering such a miraculous opportunity, it's clearly a scam.

Guaranteed Huge Returns

One of the key characteristics of a crypto investment scam is the promise of guaranteed returns with low or zero risk, which is outlandish, to say the least.

Just like every other investment market, crypto prices are always fluctuating, and not even the founder of this technology can offer a guaranteed profit.

Any crypto project that offers you guaranteed returns is a definite scam. So there’s no doubt that these offers are just trying to lure you in to take all your money.

You may also see a lot of crypto projects backed by a lot of celebrity endorsements. Don't be fooled by these celebrity endorsements, as they can be easily bought, or forged with fake influencers, and the value of these certifications is next to zero.

Free Coin Offerings

In today's world, nothing is free when it comes to business and finances. If someone is offering you something for free, it usually means that you're the product. So if someone is offering you free cash, or in this case, free cryptocurrencies, it's definitely a scam.

Most scammers offer “free money” in exchange for personal information, which is the bait used to collect the personal information of an individual to exploit them for personal gain.

Big Offering With Zero Proof or Details

If you see an advertisement with big offerings and outlandish returns, and there are next to zero details available about the process, then there's no denying that it's a scam.

The reason behind the absence of details is that the presented opportunity is a total fluke. There's also the possibility that the project is not in compliance with the law, and thus cannot be revealed to hide the evidence of their malicious actions.

Also, if the founders evade questions about the details of these opportunities, then it's a scam. Any honest financial advisor will have no objection to providing details with valid references and quotes from professionals.

Excessive Sense of Urgency

One of the most common tricks crypto scammers use is FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). The plan here is to create a fake sense of urgency so that you buy into their schemes. If you notice any project that's trying to convince people to act right away, you can be certain that it's a scam.

Random Financial Requests

There may be instances where an old friend or acquaintance will contact you out of nowhere, and start asking for financial help. However, they will ask for the money only through cryptocurrency.

This is a clear-cut case of a scam where a hacker may have gotten a hold of your friend's online profile. In real life, there's very little use of cryptocurrencies in daily life situations. So, when you get a request like that, you can be certain that it's a scam.

Romance Scams/Dating Apps

Be careful to mix online dating with crypto investments. Scammers would often employ a trick called "Love Trap,"  where they impersonate real people on online dating sites and try to trick people into investing in their scams.

They do it by charming people into a relationship and eventually offering their victims a "safe" way to invest in cryptocurrency. If you see it happening, stop contacting them and back away right then and there.

How to Detect a Suspicious Crypto Website

Cybercriminals are smart, but they still have some limitations. There are quite a few ways to tell if a crypto website is legit or not. Here are a few obvious ways to detect a suspicious crypto website:

SSL Certificate of The Website

A common way to figure out if a website is secure or not is to read the URL of the site. If a website is secure with an SSL certificate, the URL will start with "HTTPS.”. But if the URL starts with “HTTP” instead, it means that the site has no security.

Any data that you submit to the website is susceptible to exposure, especially your financial information. So if you find a website with an “HTTP” prefix, avoid it right away.

Typo in The URL & Website Content

No self-respecting business organization, financial or otherwise, will allow any form of typing mistake anywhere, especially in their URL.

If a website has a typo or spelling error in the URL, it means that the site was created in a rush or that it was trying to imitate a legitimate website.

Another telltale sign is poor grammar and incorrect sentence structure in the website content, meaning that the website is not professionally done, and was created in a rush as a throwaway project, hence, a scam website.

No “About Us” Page

Whenever you're visiting a crypto website, first check if there's an "About Us" page. If there isn't any, or the page doesn't hold any information that can reveal the company's details, whereabouts, or true objectives, then it's probably a scam.

However, some companies use virtual locations and try to appear legitimate. But you can always look into their presentation a bit more to determine whether the website is real or not.

Discusses Crypto Prices Without Sharing Details

If the website is only talking about how their crypto will go up in price soon without sharing any of the intricate details, then the website is only trying to get people excited and make them invest money in their scam.

Whenever you see a prompt like this, leave the website immediately.

The Site Looks Like A Default Template

As we've mentioned before, crypto scammers spend next to no effort to put together a website to bait as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time.

If you enter a crypto site and it looks like a stock template filled with stock images and assets, there's a high possibility that the website owners are running a black-and-white scam, and none of your information is safe to put in there.

This checklist will keep you safe from most scam websites. However, you may still encounter a scam website that looks exactly like a legitimate business. Still, by being vigilant, you can perform a basic investigation, detect the red flags, and stay clear of the fake website. If you think you've come across a scam website, DO NOT enter any kind of information in it or click any links, and leave the website instantly.

How to Avoid Cryptocurrency Scams

The best security against any kind of scam is your individual awareness. Here are a few simple steps you can take to increase your chances of avoiding different cryptocurrency scams:

Be Careful About Sharing Personal Information or Private Keys

It doesn't matter how trustworthy your dealing partners are, never share any kind of information that can lead to your account's location or access. This especially applies to cryptocurrency wallet keys.

Even if you have to provide financial information, make sure to not share your wallet's private keys. Sometimes scammers will try to convince you that they need your private key to complete the transaction, which is a complete lie.

Always Double-Check URLs and Domain Names

When dealing with crypto websites, make sure to double-check the URL and domain name. Take some time to do some research on the website as well.

Check out all the social media handles to confirm if the website is legitimate or falsely posing as a business to extort money from everyone willing to trade.

You can also check the legitimacy of the website by sending messages to its social media portals. Any legitimate business will always try to connect with its audience in any way possible to maintain its credibility. If you don’t get any responses, the website cannot be trusted.

Beware of Offers That Seem Too Good To Be True

The crypto space is filled with offers that promise a ridiculous amount of return on your investment. However, as the saying goes: if it's too good to be true, then it probably is.

No legitimate business can offer a huge ROI rate unless there's some deception involved. So if you see an offer like that, it's definitely a scam, and you should avoid interacting with these parties.

You should also monitor crypto prices diligently and verify the gathered information from multiple sources. Avoid making investment decisions solely based on rapid price movements, as they can be manipulated by scammers, and lead to pump-and-dump schemes.

Be Careful of Random Investment Advice

Some investment opportunities come out of nowhere and offer something amazing. But it's a red flag in the world of cryptocurrency. If you're receiving random crypto investment advice, there's a high chance that the offer leads to a scam. Rely on reputable sources to make well-informed decisions based on thorough research and reputation.

Secure Your Cryptocurrency Transactions

If you wouldn't send money to sketchy bank accounts, then why would you send your crypto to sketchy crypto wallets?

Always make sure to send cryptocurrency to wallets that are controlled by a trusted third party. If someone's claiming to be a legitimate business, performing some basic research can verify that claim.

You should secure your crypto transactions by using reputable wallets and platforms with robust security measures. Verify recipient addresses to prevent errors, and consider using additional security features like two-factor authentication.

You should also be vigilant and flag suspicious transactions, such as unusual activities in your wallet, unexpected withdrawals, or unfamiliar recipients in your cryptocurrency accounts.

If you detect any suspicious activity, quickly investigate it and report it to your platform or wallet provider.

Be Proactive and Perform Proper Research

Before investing in cryptocurrency, educate yourself about common cryptocurrency scams, so you can stay ahead of scammers. Understanding common crypto scams like phishing, pump-and-dump schemes, fake ICOs, etc. will allow you to recognize them from a mile away and steer clear of them.

Always look for legitimate investments before putting your money in cryptocurrency. Prioritize projects with transparent documentation, a well-defined roadmap, verified project fundamentals, and a credible team.

Also, every legitimate business, including crypto agencies, is listed under Google My Business (GMB). If the company has a GMB listing and has positive reviews, then continue the transaction with them.

You should also be proactive and stay informed about the crypto world. Learning from people who have reported losing crypto can provide valuable insights into the tactics scammers use.

Last but not least, you can regularly check the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website and other centralized authority figures for crypto fraud losses reported and warnings regarding cryptocurrency scams.

Never Respond To Threatening Messages

Sometimes scammers resort to extortion to rob people of their money. If you start receiving threats or warnings, and the person is asking for cryptocurrency in return, avoid interacting with the sender.

Whenever you receive a threat like this, make sure to review the incoming message and your current situation. Refrain from making rash decisions to send any money to the sender, take additional security measures, and report the sender.

If the threats persist, then the best course of action is to contact cybersecurity experts like TechForing, or the local law enforcement agency immediately.