Beware of Scammers
We have all probably seen it on Facebook or Twitter etc. That strangers account that replies to your comment and proclaims that they can easily take $500 and turn it into $5,000 in 7 days. Well just in case you didn’t know, this is a scam and it happens every single day. Now these scams come in many different forms, but ultimately the process and the goal are always the same. Single out someone that looks like they could be a victim, or they set out the bait and let the victims come to them with the promise of tremendous returns with a minimal investment. What’s not to like? I mean if they can turn 500 into 5,000 in a week why aren’t we all using this person? Truth be told, some people are gullible. The promise of brilliant returns with little investment is too much for some people to pass up. Most of us know how to spot a scammer from a mile away. But there are always a few victims. All you have to do is check their wallet on https://www.blockchain.com/explorer and you can see that a few people must have fallen for it because there is crypto in the wallet. Don’t be a victim! In this write up we will discuss a few different types of scams, how to avoid falling victim etc. Hopefully we can help a few noobs along the way.
Social Media scams
Ever since I got involved in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency I have seen many scammers. The more the price rises, the more scammers seem to show up from underneath their rocks. But even in a bear market there is still room for scammers. If you were to look at my message requests on Facebook (message requests are from people that are not “friends” with you on Facebook. Facebook keeps those messages in a separate folder than the messages from your “friends”) you would see that I have been messaged by 200+ people that promise you the world for the cost of a blade of grass. Every single one is different, but the goals are always similar, and that goal is to steal your cryptocurrency. Anything from cloud mining to 20x ROI in a matter of days, these scammers can be cunning at times so always have your guard up.
If a stranger were to message you asking you to invest why would you even consider entertaining them? What would you do if a stranger approached you in the street and told you if you gave him $500 they would come by your house in 7 days and bring you $5,000? I know what I would do, I would laugh in their face. What makes Facebook any different? You may think to yourself that you have found a legit money maker when a smooth-talking potential scammer messages you, but the chances that you found a needle in a haystack of scammers is very unlikely. So what if the person can truly make you money? If you choose to ignore any and all messages that promise unreal returns or cloud mining etc, you will be better off. The chances of someone taking your 500 and turning it into 5,000 in one week is so slim I would recommend buying lottery tickets over trusting these complete strangers to treat you fairly. At least you know the odds when you play the lottery. Now there are multiple ways to handle a scammer when they contact you. I will flat out ignore or block them most of the time. But from time to time I will message the scammer back and act interested. I consider anything I can do to waste their time possibly hinders them from scamming other people. You can have fun with scammers as well. If you do, I suggest you take screenshots and share them on Crypto Coin Traders page on Facebook so we can all have a laugh. The thing is these scammers create different accounts, so it isn’t easy to track or stop them. Once Facebook bans the scammers account, they are already logged in as someone else and back to their dirty schemes. So, I suggest if you do see a scam to expose the scammer. There is a Facebook page called “Crypto Ninjas” that I have just started that was designed to expose scams and the people that perpetrate these scams. This page is for nothing more than exposing scammers. Whatever we can do to prevent new investors or gullible people we should do it. Now that we have touched on obvious scams lets discuss some of the less obvious scams.
Now let’s talk about Twitter. When you are on Twitter everyone that posts has a “Twitter Handle” Which is typically the “@” symbol followed by your name or your user name. For instance, my Twitter name is Tim Pace, but my handle is @timpace30. These handles are important and everyone should pay close attention to these Handles. Im going to use an example of one of my acquaintances that fell for a Twitter scam. Let’s just say my friends name is Brad. Well Brad messages me and tells me that OCN (Odyssey coin) was giving away ETH to the first 250 people that acted fast. The scam is similar to the one we discussed in the previous paragraphs, but instead of reaching out to you as an individual the scammers decide to create a duplicate page with a similar Twitter Handle. This way they can parade around like they are in fact the true page, when in actuality, if you look closely at the Twitter Handle it is slightly different than the real pages Handle is. My friend told me OCN would give you 50 ETH if you just sent them 5 ETH. Well he sent them the 5 ETH (this was when ETH was around $500 per coin) and he was awaiting the 50 ETH they promised. While he was waiting he messaged me exclaiming how awesome it was that OCN was doing this giveaway and when he explained to me that he sent 5 ETH and expected 50 ETH in return my first thoughts were, “bro, you just got scammed!” He told me that I must be mistaken and that he read it right on the OCN Twitter page. Well he was mistaken. The Twitter Handle for OCN is something like “@Odysseycoin”, but when he showed me a screenshot of the “giveaway” he saw the Twitter Handle was spelled slightly different than the real pages Handle was. (It said “@Oddysseycoin” which has an extra S than the real page does. This should have been a dead giveaway to my friend Brad that something was amiss. The entire giveaway was a scam and my friend straight up lost $2500. He got out of crypto and vowed never to return because he was so angry at the situation. I felt terrible for him. It happens every single day. Of course, after enough people complained to Twitter, they shut the page down. By that point the damage was already apparent. I checked the wallet the scammers were using, and the scam was successful as the wallet had a LOT of ETH in it. The moral of the story is if it sounds too good to be true chances are it is too good to be true. Think of it like this, how often do people offer you opportunities like that? You give me $50 and I will send you $500. I have never had that happen to me. Nobody is going to give you $500 for $50. Ever! Don’t be so gullible. Ignore anything like this and your future self will absolutely thank you. Brad may be gone, but the scammers are still out trying to get their next victim so we should be on out toes! These social media scams are bad, but there are other types of scams as well we should all be aware of.
Phishing scams are a bit different than the scams I mentioned earlier, but the end results are always the same. They end up stealing something that belongs to someone else. Phishing is no different. Phishing attacks occur when the perpetrator pretends to be a trusted source (lets just say in this case we use Binance) and they create an email that is so similar to the real Binance email that it fools a lot of users. The email will typically have something that seems pressing to the victim. It will tell you that you need to secure your account or change a password because of this or that. Well typically it prompts you to enter your current password and user name to satisfy the sender (which they assume is someone that works at Binance, but it isn’t). By entering the info they desire you are in essence sending the scammer full access to your investment. Scary I know! But there are ways to ensure you do not fall victim. Always ensure that the web address is good. For instance, if you wanted to go to Binance the Web address should say WWW.Binance.com, But instead it may say something like WWW.B!nance.com. It is easy to see how people can overlook things like this. Complacent attitudes and laziness is to blame. When you are dealing with your investment always assume the worst and you will rarely fall for these scams. There are many different types of phishing attacks, but in the case of crypto this is probably the most prevalent type of phishing scam. ALWAYS TRIPLE CHECK THE WEBSITE ADDRESS!!!
I despise scammers. I could write about scams all day long, but I feel like I touched on a few of the more pressing scams. These scams can cost anywhere from $5 to $5,000,000. Nobody enjoys losing money. NOBODY! Education and awareness is the best way to deal with the scammers. If you see a scammer attempting to take advantage of you be sure and let everyone know! Chances are the scammer is emailing or DM’ing multiple people, some could even be your friends or family. The crypto vets have an obligation to help these gullible noobs. Remember that if it sounds too good to be true than chances are it is too good to be true. I hope you learned something from this. Don’t get complacent. Don’t assume it will never happen to you. Always be on your toes! We are all in this together and I think if we watch each other’s backs we can severely cut back the scams and their success rates.
Written By: Tim Pace 2/27/2019