Not everything in the world of cryptos is sunshine and rainbows. There are many crypto scams that have left many investors upset, some having lost everything they had.
This is the wild west of crypto scams, where fakes website, dodgy telegram group and con artists try to steal every last crypto from your wallet. Even the most experienced crypto enthusiasts have fallen victim to these clever and elaborate schemes.
We are going to break down each crypto scam we come across, in hope that we can educate you to spot the next big cryptocurrency con and warn everyone else before they lose their investment.
One of the most common crypto scams in the rug pull. This happens when the original investors, developers, creators of a project simply remove all the liquidity (money) from the project without notifying other investors. This scam involves the first investors putting some money into the project, raising the price of each token and then removing ALL of their investment in the project, leaving the price to free fall and investors holding on to the hope that the project will turn around and increase in price which it never does. Some rug pulled projects remain online and still find unaware investors pouring their money into a project that doesnt exist anymore.
There is not solid method to avoid being rug pulled but we have some ideas to share to help reduce the chances of being caught. The biggest advantage you will have is to DYOR - Do Your Own Research. Although this is not fool proof, by simply joining all the social channels (discord, twitter, facebook) and starting communication with the dev team or project leaders, you can ascertain whether the creators are active or helpful.
A phishing site is a fake website that replicates another popular site and confuses the buying into thinking are on the correct site. The scammers copy the original site to a tee, with only extreme subtle differences noticeable to people who have been on the site often. These scammers use all the original images and logo, the same description text. The sad part is, once you have connected your wallet to the fake phishing site, they will then clear your wallet out of all the cryptos you have.
As social media erupted, so did the influencers and the "How To" videos, along with their bragging of sports cars, luxury homes and other expensive toys. This has caught the attention of criminals worldwide, realising they only need a password to access the funds. Once an influencer has been ear marked, the scammers then follow the influencers personal life and their wordly travels. Kidnappings occur in foreign destinations, where the influence can disappear quickly and be held until the crypto ransom has been paid.
Ever see those coins randomly pumping a couple thousand percent increase in a short time? Well most of those are due to PUMPS and DUMPS. This involve a group of people, collaborating around a certain token and date/time whereby they push the price up to crazy levels and then drop the price back to where it was. Most of the pump and dump schemes only announce the token a few minutes before the actual event, leaving lots of people buying at a much higher price and ultimately putting money into the Pump and Dump master controllers account.
No, cryptocurrencies are NOT Ponzi or Pyramid Scheme, but some of the projects most certainly can be. Due to the fact that its currently difficult to monitor and regulate all crypto tokens and projects, this allows dodgy characters to create their own schemes, making sure the early investors earn all the profit from late investors until the project collapses.
The good old hacking. Forcefully entering into someone's computers through nefarious means, then cleaning out the cryptos from the unsuspecting victim. Disappear without a trace.
Dont you just love those friendly support calls and private messages from a projects support team when you didn't request any help or support? Majority of the time, these are scammers trying to win over your trust or make you worried that something is wrong with your account when there is fact nothing amiss. These "admins" tell you all kinds of stories, from needing to reconfigure your account, to performing maintenance and helping recover funds you never lost. Their stories are sometimes believable and the newbie crypto would think its just the ever supportive crypto community lending an extra hand.
These days, everyone is doing giveaways to amass more followers and gain popularity. This allows scammers to follow the same trend, by promising crazy giveaways in return for personal information, payments to release giveaway, giving out wallet details and other ways to get access to your investments. Another way is giveaway a cheap token or nft, and then either include a hefty gas fee OR create the crypto contract so that it disappears or burns after a certain amount of time, making your giveaway disappear.
Same as in the "real world" (not that cryptos are not real), people have been bribing, blackmailing and extorting people out of money for generations. Once critical / sensitive information has been obtained about an individual, the scammers then holds the victim to ransom, threatening to release the info if a sum of cryptos are not paid over to the scammer.
Many new cryptocurrencies are being launched daily, some with real, worthy utility and others just there to take your money. These scammers create amazing website about a new project, promising huge returns for a token or project that has even better potential. Once the intial offering phase is over, and lots of money has been invested, the projects just simply disappears.