Bitcoin is no doubt here to stay and if you are aware of Bitcoin as a currency, then you are almost certain to have done some research into the ways you can be scammed in the process. There have been some famous cryptocurrency hacks since its inception almost ten years ago, but the biggest fear normal people have about using the currency is losing their money to untrustworthy people at the other end.
With the price of bitcoin becoming very valuable in recent times, it has also meant that there has also been an increase in bitcoin-related crimes. Because the value is high and the use of the currency virtually untraceable, it, unfortunately, brings out the worst in some people. Human nature can be a horrible thing when money is involved, and when an untraceable source becomes valuable, it makes it even more difficult to know who you can trust when dealing with Bitcoin.
The world of scammers is real. They seek to profit from bitcoin, just through immoral means. This usually involves targeting victims who are not prepared for a scam, and the victims usually lose all their money. Below are the three most common Bitcoin scams and we talk about how to see them and how to avoid them.
Fake Bitcoin Exchange
Social media is rife with links to fake exchanges, and the warning signs are very obvious as to what they are. You might see an invitational link that offers bitcoin for below market value purchases, but these are just a marketing ploy to get you to their dodgy websites.
If you do happen to hit one of those links, if the website is not secure (HTTPS = secure) (HTTP = not secure) this is a big flag that should tell you to close it down and never return.
Secure sites ensure any web traffic is secured and encrypted, which means the communication between the website and your browser are encrypted. HTTPS is used to protect confidential online transactions like banking, online shopping orders and any other option that requires fund access.
Another common red flag is the site offering Bitcoin for sale using your PayPal account. Most fake exchanges will appear and disappear as quickly as possible, so they can’t be traced after they scam you. Always ensure you use a trustworthy Bitcoin exchange.
Fake Bitcoin Wallets
Spotting fake Bitcoin wallets is difficult as they are usually used for storage rather than buying or selling. The way fake wallets affect you is they infect your computer with malware to steal passwords or private keys. Using a trusted source of wallets is the obvious way around this, so make sure you are using a secure wallet site, and ensure the name of the wallet is not just a rip-off version of a real wallet site. If you are even remotely skeptical, use software to check the site you are using for malware. Most virus software will have malware checking resources, pay for a reputable one.
This is a very common scam. Phishing is a common scam where someone will swindle you into visiting a fake site while posing as a trusted company. Normally these types of scams happen through emails or website advertising. The aim of these scams is to get you to their site where they will do one of the above numbers over you. Check the site is safe, make sure you have a trusted, secure source before you start handing over money. Never click on hyperlinks in an email unless you know who the email is from.