Common Crypto scams and How to stay safe?

(This article is not financial advice. Ensure to do your research before putting in your money in this volatile asset)

Crypto is a fast-moving space. The technological advancements and the use cases of Crypto are increasing each day. However, with the good parts come the bad parts. There are scammers in the Crypto space just like other industries. Crypto is yet to be easy to understand for many. So be aware of the possibilities of losing your money. Learn how to spot the scams and stay safe.

Scam #1 – Phishing Emails

Scammers send fake emails which have branding like the original one. Scammers trick you into downloading malware or lead you to their fake website. They try to get your info such as passwords by creating a sense of urgency. 

How to stay safe: Be it to update your account, reset your password, always use the official website.

Scam #2 – Impersonator/Social Media Scams

Scammers make fake accounts impersonating a person who has authority in the crypto space. These scams are prevalent on Twitter, Youtube, Telegrams. Scammers will do giveaways or private messages asking you to send them your coins. 

How to stay safe: Check for the verification symbol if available. Also, check for the spelling of the imposter accounts. Next time if you get a DM from ELANN MUSKK, you know what to do.

Scam #3 – Fake Websites & apps

Scammers create an exchange, wallet and other websites that mimic the real website. Once you feed your details like passwords and bank details to scammers.

How to stay safe: Always install apps from the official website. While using google search don’t click on the “ads” on the top of the results as they may be fake websites.

Scam #4 – Fake Coins

Scammers use a similar name or ticker symbol to that of the real coin. On Decentralized Exchanges the barrier to list a coin is low. So scammers create coins that have no utility but mimic other coins. 

How to stay safe: Do your due diligence and check the name thoroughly before putting in your money.

Scam #5 – SIM swap

Scammers trick you to get your personal information. They use this information with your phone service provider and transfer your number to their sim. They can then get access to your emails, text, and much more. 

How to stay safe: Use authenticator app instead of text/call based verification. Keep your phone number and email associated with crypto accounts and exchanges separate. Do not reveal them to anyone.

Scam #6 – Clipboard Hacks/Copy Paste malware:

Scammers use malware to hijack your clipboard. For example, you are sending crypto to your friend and you copy his address. The malware will replace your friend’s address and add Scammers address. 

How to stay safe: Use antivirus and cross-check the address before sending any crypto to someone.

Scam #7 – Gas Trap

You come across a post of a seed phrase of a wallet full of ERC20 tokens. Now you want to get those tokens. But to get the tokens you need to transfer ETH to pay for the gas fees. Once you transfer ETH to the wallet it is taken by their bot. 

How to stay safe: Avoid random seed phrases shared with you. Even the ones claiming to have lots of crypto in them.

Scam #8 – Pump and Dump Groups

In this scam, the victim understands that this is illegal yet wishes to be a part of it due to their greed. Some groups claim that they will pump a coin at a certain moment for the general public. As you will be a part of the group you will have extra information about the timings of the pump. Victim hopes to use this information for their gains. But, the organizers have already made their profits and dump it on the group instead.

How to stay safe: These type of activities are illegal. If someone you don’t know gives you unsolicited advice, it is better to avoid them.

Scam #9 – Exit (Rug Pull)

Scammers create a new coin and create many dummy accounts which hold this coin. They use influencers to shill/promote their coin. Once the value of the coin increases, they use the dummy accounts to then dump the coins. And lock the investors from selling the coins or remove the liquidity so that investors can’t sell. Take the money and the value of the coin becomes zero.

How to stay safe: Always do your research about the project and the team behind it before putting in your money

Scam #10 – Giveaway Scams

You will get messages saying that you have won a giveaway. Scammers will ask you to first send crypto to them as a deposit amount to claim your prize money. Send 1 BTC to receive 5 BTC. 

How to stay safe: Never take part in anything which asks you to send your crypto first.

Scam #11 – Rotten seed phrases

Scammers trick users into installing a wallet with compromised seed phrases. Scammers use websites that mimic genuine one. Scammers then provide the rotten seed phrases to the user. The user is then redirected to the genuine website. Now the user installs the genuine wallet but is tricked to import the rotten seed phrase. Even though the user installs a genuine wallet, the scammer has all the details. Once the user adds funds to the wallet, the scammer then drains the account. 

How to stay safe: Bookmark the official wallet website. Avoid search engine results and Ads.

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