Any kind of investment in the world carries risks, and as you quickly discover when you participate in the new digital currency mechanisms of cryptocurrencies, these transactions are also, not surprisingly, risky. Here, we’re not talking about price fluctuations caused by market volatility, but about scams that can be seen everywhere.
Fraudsters are using cryptocurrencies to lure people into bogus investment opportunities, making huge profits. Since October 2020, nearly 7,000 people have reported these scams, resulting in losses of more than $80 million. Some cryptocurrency fraudsters rely on time-tested Ponzi schemes, using income from new participants to pay returns to early investors. There are also many fraudsters using highly automated and complex processes, including automated software that interacts with Telegram, an Internet-based instant messaging system popular among people interested in cryptocurrencies. Following a list of the most common scams and approaches to avoid becoming a victim.
Ponzi Scheme for Cryptocurrency
Some cryptocurrency fraudsters take advantage of investor’s greed, often promising large returns. For example, the scam bot iCenter is known as a Ponzi scheme for Bitcoin and Litecoin. The operation mode does not involve any specific investment strategies, but somehow promises investors 1.2% returns a day.
The iCenter scheme works through group chats on Telegram. Its original team was just a few scammers. They share a recommendation code with others on blogs and social media, post some inspiring and exciting information, and get them to join the group chat. Once in the group chat, scammers introduce newcomers to business models and investment plans that do not exist and impress them with jargon or claims of specialized knowledge. The hype has led many newcomers to decide to invest, where they are assigned a separate Bitcoin wallet, where they can deposit bitcoins and wait for three or four months to earn a decent return.
During this time, newcomers use social media to share their recommendation codes with their contacts, bringing more people into group chats and investment plans. But in fact, the team has not actually invested the money in any legitimate business. When new people join, the people who recruited them to receive a percentage of the new money, and the cycle continues, paying fees to early participants from each round of new investors. With big returns for those who invested early, some members went to extraordinary lengths to raise new money, Posting tutorial videos and photos of themselves holding large amounts of money as enticements to join the scam.
Sometimes celebrities also get involved. For instance, the kingpin behind GainBitcoin and other alleged scams in India convinced a number of Bollywood celebrities to promote his book, “Cryptocurrency for Beginners.” He even tried to make himself a bit of a celebrity, proclaiming himself a “cryptocurrency guru,” as he led efforts that cost investors between $769 million and $2 billion.
You may enter into the formal website for investment transactions according to Google and other browsers’ reliable tips, but there are still some unexpected circumstances to visit the false website and become a victim. There are now plenty of fake websites masquerading as similar to original, effective startups. If no instructions safe little lock icon near the URL bar, and no “HTTPS” in the site address, even if the site looks and what do you think is on a visit to the site, the same can also be an elaborate hoax, users will find himself are directed to another platform, obviously, the platform will not bring you true feasible encryption monetary investment. To avoid this, be careful to enter the exact URL in your browser. You should learn to spot the telltale signs of fake websites before opening an account.
Legitimate website recommendation
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Fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings
An initial coin offering (ICO) is the cryptocurrency industry’s equivalent to an initial public offering (IPO). A company looking to raise money to create a new coin, app, or service launches an ICO as a way to raise funds. Interested investors can buy into the offering and receive a new cryptocurrency token issued by the company. This token may have some utility in using the product or service the company is offering, or it may just represent a stake in the company or project.
In many cases, ICO issuers’ intention is not to build up a business and list it on an exchange but to quickly disappear with the collected money. This type of fraud, which is often referred to as exit fraud, is often combined with a fake team, in which fictitious people are presented as team members of the ICO.
There is no guarantee that an investor won’t be on the losing end of a scam when investing in ICOs. To help avoid ICO scams, investors should:
- Make sure that project developers can clearly define what their goals are. Successful ICOs typically have straightforward, understandable whitepapers with clear, concise goals.
- Know the developers. Investors should strive for 100% transparency from a company launching an ICO.
- Look for legal terms and conditions set for the ICO. Because outside regulators generally do not oversee this space, it is up to an investor to ensure any ICO is legitimate.
- Make sure that ICO funds are being stored in an escrow wallet. This is a wallet that requires multiple keys in order to be accessed. This is useful protection against scams, particularly when a neutral third party is a holder of one of the keys.
Investors looking for returns in new technologies are increasingly turning to blockchain and cryptocurrencies. But we must not lose sight of the fact that they are complex systems, new even to the people who operate and sell them. Newcomers often fall victim to scams. In an environment like the current cryptocurrency market, potential investors should be very careful about where they put their money and be sure to find out who is involved and what is involved.