ForensX Intelligence Services

Common Crypto Scams to Watch Out For: Part 2

hackers are attempting to steal your cryptocurrency - ForensX traces those transactions


Last month we covered some of the common ways scammers attempt to steal your cryptocurrency (crypto). If you want to learn all of their deceitful strategies, go back and take a read. Otherwise, here’s a quick recap before we explore a few more of their manipulative tricks and the best ways to protect your crypto and other blockchain-based investments.

  1. Phishing – a strategy to gain personal online wallet information. Once they get their hands on your private key, your crypto and other assets such as NFTs are gone.
  2. Fake websites or apps – posing as legitimate sites, scammers will get you to buy, sell or trade your crypto or NFTs. Whatever the ploy is, they are after your digital information, digital currency, or other blockchain-based assets.
  3. Investment schemes – can start with a fake investor offering to make you money, a Ponzi scheme or pump and dump, fake ICOs, or a great crypto exchange with bonus bitcoin for your trades. Just know these scams are plentiful and often very sophisticated.
  4. Impersonators – are your favorite celebrity, an employer or government agency, sometimes it’s a bank or even someone you’ve been dating online for months! They can pretend to be the biggest companies in the world, like Amazon or Microsoft. The only thing they have in common is they are all trying to get at your crypto and other blockchain-based assets.

Now let’s explore a few more scams.

5. The giveaway!

Everyone loves free right? What about free money or crypto? The problem is, nothing in life is ever free. These scams will offer you free coins, or match and multiply your crypto, promising to deposit coins into your wallet. They’ll position it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to miss but only if you transfer funds quickly. These strategies prey on FOMO – fear of missing out, and often get unsuspecting victims to act quickly and emotionally, without thinking things carefully through first.

Sometimes scammers will use social media as a platform for a giveaway, applying clever messaging to look just like a real account. When you click on the giveaway you go to a fake site asking for verification to get bitcoin, but you’ll have to make a payment first to prove your crypto account is legit. Not only will you lose the payment, you could have also clicked on a malicious link that just stole your personal information and your crypto assets.



6. The Man-in-the-Middle

Wi-Fi has definitely improved our access to the internet and made smart phones the handy devices they are. That being said, scammers have a plethora of ways they can obtain people’s information who have accessed the Internet on public Wi-Fi networks.


From setting up fake Wi-Fi hotspots of their own that mimic a legitimate public Wi-Fi network, to deploying malware on an unencrypted network, scammers have multiple tricks up their sleeves to tap into your personal online information, including your passwords, private keys, and account details.



7. Blackmail

It’s ugly, it’s personal and although not the most common scam, it can be devasting. Thieves will play on your insecurities or on your indiscretions. They send an email claiming to have evidence of visits to adult websites. Or claiming they have embarrassing photos, videos, or information about you.


They will threaten to expose you publicly or to your loved ones if you don’t pay them in crypto immediately. Never fall for this and report any blackmail attempts to the authorities.


No matter how these criminals try to trick you, their end game is all the same: they want your information or your hard-earned cryptocurrency and other digital assets. This definitive aim leaves a trail of warnings.


Take the time to pause and look for some of these signs before clicking, entering information, or paying anyone.


Watch out for:


Big Promises

No one in the financial world can promise guaranteed quick and large returns, especially in the volatile and unregulated crypto market.


When it sounds too good to be true it definitely is!


Over the Top Marketing

Promotion is one thing, and we know good marketing works. However, if you’re getting hit everywhere you look at online ads, offline promotion, or via influencers on your social media channels, it could be a fraudster at work. If you are feeling surrounded by amazing crypto deals, this may be a trap and warrants a little research.


The Not So White Paper

Whitepapers are a legitimate sign of a cryptocurrency ICO (initial coin offering), and every real company has one. It explains how the crypto was designed and how it will work.


So, if you can’t find a whitepaper or if doesn’t make sense, beware.


Team Bios

Authentic crypto investment companies and NFT projects share who’s on the team, if not down right brag about their major players.


If you can’t find information online about an investment manager who’s contacted you, whether on their business website, LinkedIn or other social media platforms, this might be a good time to question the legitimacy of the company or project.


All the Demands

Why does it have to be a crypto payment? Why now? No real company is going to demand you pay crypto in advance, and especially not on their urgent timelines.


If you are feeling unreasonable pressure to give in to their ominous demands: stop, drop and roll…away from that company now!


frustrated computer user who has been locked out of his computer by ransomware


Spot the Impersonator


Know that real businesses, employers, and government agencies will never:

  • Ask you for money or crypto via email, text, or social media.
  • Contact you unexpectedly demanding payment with crypto.
  • Expect you to pay a fee in cryptocurrency for a job, even if it’s for “training.”
  • Inform you via text or email that your account is frozen and they are worried. This is a trick to get you to click on a malicious link. Or if they ask you to pay them money or crypto to “unfreeze” your account, don’t do it.
  • Offer you a job as a cash-to-crypto converter or crypto miner.


Take Advice from a Crush

Whether it’s a celebrity you follow or your online love interest you’ve been chatting with for weeks, your crypto is not their concern. Don’t mix business with pleasure.


Protect yourself, use common sense and trust your gut. Crypto thieves can be convincing and manipulative.


It’s important to consider these simple steps:


Keep Your Wallet Safe: You would never hand over your physical wallet or a credit card to someone you don’t know or trust, so treat your digital wallet the same.


If anyone asks you for your private keys to get in on an investment opportunity, it’s a scam.


Watch Your Wallet App: Test out your wallet app with a small deposit first to ensure its the real deal. Any time you are updating the app watch out for suspicious behavior.


If you pick up on anything strange, terminate the update and uninstall the app immediately.


Cold Calls Aren’t Worth the Risk: Never invest with a complete stranger. A call out of nowhere offering you a great opportunity is too good to be true.


Keep your personal information and money in a galaxy far far away.


It's important to secure your data from hackers and other scammers


Put in the Research: Just because something is one click away doesn’t mean you should make that click. If you don’t understand how a crypto investment is working, stop and do the research.


Most companies are not scams. They will have whitepapers, teams, and reviews you can find online to verify their legitimacy. You can also look up the company on a recent credible/fake cryptocurrency list to ensure it’s a safe player in the digital space.


Use a VPN: Play it safe and rely on a legitimate virtual private network when you are doing digital transactions, especially in public.


A VPN will encrypt data being transmitted, preventing thieves from accessing your personal information and cryptocurrency.



What If I Do This and Still Get Scammed?

Sometimes even the most cautious and savvy of us can still fall for a scam. Just thinking about losing your digital identity or savings is enough to tie your stomach into knots.


It’s important to catch it early on and move quickly.


If you accidentally gave a scammer access to your wallet or other digital assets:

  • Race to (a browser extension that helps protect your crypto and digital assets) immediately and hope you can revoke any allowances you may have unknowingly granted through a scam before it’s too late.


Similar to any other fraudulent incidents, the next stop is your bank. Let them know if:

  • You shared personal or financial information about yourself.
  • Made a payment using your debit or credit card.
  • Sent a bank transfer.
  • Your information is up for sale and other criminals may already be taking advantage.


Other important steps to take are:

  • Change your username and passwords across all your accounts
  • Report the scam to any regulatory body that’s connected. If it happened on social media, let the platform know immediately. You might just save someone else from the same scam.
  • Report the fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s online reporting system or call 1-888-495-8501. If you live in the US, you can report the scam to your State Consumer Protection Office using this link. You should also report the scam at the federal level; The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the main agency that collects scam reports. Report the scam to the FTC online, or by phone at 1-877-382-4357 (9:00 AM - 8:00 PM, ET).
  • Contact a professional crytpo investigator, like ForensX, to help trace your lost cryptocurrency.


The End Results

Cryptocurrency has disrupted the financial market. It’s unregulated and sophisticated, and full of risk. This makes it a hot commodity for investors. Combine these factors with crypto’s explosive growth, popularity amongst celebrities and big marketers, this translates to a lot of people wanting a piece of the action, including scammers.


Remember, all these scams are after two things: your digital account information and your crypto.


Play it safe, especially if you are new to the market. 


Finally, rely on your common sense. The digital world is full of scams. If you don’t hand out money or personal information to people or companies you don’t know, then don’t give out your digital details, digital assets or cryptocurrency either.




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Name: ForensX Media
Posts: 6
Last Post: July 11, 2023