With the rise in the value of Bitcoin, there has been an increase in the number of scams involving the digital currency on social media and websites.
These scams are becoming more prominent since they’re being shared very frequently over the internet. So much so, the ZeroFOX found that the number of Bitcoin scam URLs was shared over 126 million times on social media. It adds, though, that two specific URLs were shared more than 40 million times and two others, which were shared over 10 million times.
To prevent you from suffering a loss or becoming a victim to one of these sites, here are some ways to spot Bitcoin scams:
Some websites often promise to give “free coins” to the user if they download a malware app. This app then completely messes up the user’s computer. Several websites even ask the user to fill out fake bitcoin surveys and are used to distribute malware.We advise you to stay cautious when encountering any such URL that is either shortened or not secured with HTTPS connection.
Bitcoin phishing impersonators:
Phishing is basically getting a user to enter all their personal information on a malicious site.
A phishing website will have the user enter their private key to see if it exists in their database. Once the private key is phished, the scammer spends from the user’s bitcoin wallet address.
These scams usually ask users to pay a start-up fee in exchange for money or promise to double their investment overnight. However, their end of the bargain is never held up and the bitcoins are lost immediately.
Bitcoin pyramid schemes:
These scams are low initial investments that are multiplied by signing up additional members. Soon enough, when a large group has joined the scheme, the scammer walks away with the investment and the pyramid collapses.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
Just because it’s a digital currency does not mean you can acquire wealth overnight. Even though many of these scams promise to make you rich by just downloading an app or answering a survey.
- Do not trust anyone that claims to provide you with bitcoins overnight. These sort of scams run rampant on social media sites and digital channels.
- Avoid URLs that advertise bitcoin offers on social media.
- Be overcautious when dealing with social media accounts of legitimate bitcoin brokers or trading platforms as they are usually impersonators.
- Do not engage in financial transactions, via direct message on social websites.
- Be smart when you trust anyone with your personal details. Do not leak out anything that could cause you a loss later on.
If you have already been fooled, then don’t expect to see your bitcoins again. All you can do is learn from your mistakes and make others aware of such situations as well.