How to avoid scammers
With crypto prices currently on the move back up again, an increasing number of people are buying crypto-assets. But, of course, whenever there is a buying surge like this, scammers come out of the woodwork, looking for opportunities to fool people and take their money. Here are five tips on how to avoid getting screwed.
Think About Whether The “Deal” Is Too Good To Be True
One of the ways that scammers weasel their way into our lives (and pocketbooks) is by dangling things that we want right in front of our noses and then claiming that we can have them. Scammers will offer all sorts of things such as:
- Guaranteed returns
- Massive upside
- Six-figure profits
- Payment no matter where the market goes
Whenever you read an advertisement or get an email to your inbox promising you the world, think about whether it’s too good to be true. Remember, it is, in general, not possible to beat the market over long periods, so anything that claims to be able to do that is likely a scam of one kind or another.
Verify The Status Of Any Company That Contacts You
There are plenty of legitimate operators in the crypto space, but there are also a lot of scammers. It’s crucial, therefore, to make sure that you verify that you’re dealing with a trusted party.
The best way to do this is to check the legal status of the entity, whether a company, agency, or financial institution, with a regulatory or government body. Anybody dealing in crypto or offering financial services should be a member of a legal or professional organization and have credentials which are verifiable at the original source.
Before clicking “buy” or handing over any money, go to those sources to make sure that the agency is legitimate and that you’re not about to lose all your money to a scammer.
Beware Of Cloned Websites And Fake URLs
Scammers are, as discussed, very good at creating campaigns that captures your attention. The reason for this is that scammers say whatever you want to hear. Unlike a real company, the scammer has no intention of delivering on their promises.
When you click a link and get forwarded to a website, always check the URL. It’s hard for scammers to fake URLs completely as a website’s address is something that your browser uses to discern one site from another. But scammers can make a URL look like the real thing by making very small and often unnoticeable changes.
When you get forwarded to a website after clicking an advert, check the URL letter by letter. Look out for different versions of what looks like the same letter; for instance, a letter with a dot beneath it or a zero instead of the letter “O”.
You can also install special plugins on some browsers, such as Crytonite, which will warn you if you’ve been forwarded to an illegitimate site.
Check For Warnings About Risks
Scammers won’t usually warn you about the real risks that you face if you decide to invest in crypto. All criminals want is to get you to hand over your money, and they’ll say or do just about anything if they think that it might increase their chances of getting you to do it. The last thing that they want to do is plaster warnings everywhere telling you that you might lose money or that the value of your investment may go down as well as up.
Legitimate sites, on the other hand, have to include disclaimers, not only to inform their customers of the risks but because it’s a legal requirement. No investment is 100 percent guaranteed. The world is an uncertain place. Random things happen all the time, which means that it’s not possible to ensure that the price of anything will rise or fall indefinitely. Avoid anyone claiming otherwise like the plague.
Avoid Pump-And-Dump Schemes
Pump-and-dump schemes are a variety of cryptocurrency scam where scammers get a bunch of people to buy as much crypto as they can in a short period to force the price above its intrinsic market value.
Once the price reaches a peak, the organizers of the scam sell their holdings, the price falls, and then they buy back their crypto after the price drop, generating a profit.
If you see anyone inviting you to a “pump” community, it’s a scam. You might be offered the opportunity to share the profits, but that’s almost certainly a lie.