What You Need To Know To Avoid Crypto Scams
Over the course of a decade, Bitcoin (and cryptocurrency) has gone through many phases. From being a fringe idea, to a tool used by criminals, to now becoming a safe, private, and legitimate alternative to our financial system.
Crypto is now a >$2T market. There’s money to be made by mining, trading, staking or purchasing NFTs, just to name a few. The promise of huge wins makes it into a honeypot for people looking to make ‘quick bucks’.
It’s not unusual that once you start getting in some crypto groups in Telegram, people you’ve never spoken to will DM you to talk about this ‘business platform meant for individuals who are crypto mining oriented’, or ‘an alternative way people are making money in crypto’.
MLMs and scams portraying themselves as legitimate crypto companies are not rare to see. Be aware of these signals when the time comes.
They Slide Into DMs
Scammers usually hide and contact people in big Telegram groups. The app has a function that makes them invisible from every group member list (unless you’re an admin, you won’t see them), and they reach people on a daily basis.
Usually, they will send you a private message to tell you about a great business opportunity that not even crypto veterans have heard about. They’re trying to spread the word so that you can make money as well. They like to take advantage of the current health crisis to empathize and connect with your emotions.
What Is The Scheme About
What is this ‘great business opportunity’ all about? Nothing more than a good ol’ MLM scheme, or just a scam. Its main goal is to get you to sign up in the platform, invest and ‘start earning through mining’. The person who recruits you gets a % of what you earn.
Most of these crypto scams involve 2 types of businesses: trading and mining. Both businesses have been thriving, and regular folks want to get in. Con men know that, and make business fronts related to take advantage of gullible newbies.
How They Convince You
They’ll usually try to lure you in through screenshots and videos of people claiming how much they’ve earned with the platform. Another tactic is to outright invite you to group chats filled with users praising the company and how it has changed their lives. Again, they like to empathize with you, make you feel like they were in your situation, and thanks to the company, they now have financial stability.
At this point it’s just better if you walk out. You know their intentions ─to get you into a scheme that will most probably NOT give you money. It won’t go well.
How To Stop Them
Scammers know that from every x amount of users they contact each day, at least one or two will take the bait. When you’ve identified a scammer, you want to do this:
- Take a screenshot of the user and conversation. Report it to the group it’s in. If you can’t see its group, casually ask them where they found you (they will most probably tell you), and contact an admin to kick them out of the group.
- Ask the admins to install an anti-scam bot. Good options for this are: Chainfuel, Rose or Shieldy that are free and easy for admins to setup.
A fun thing to do is waste their time. Follow the conversation and add your fun little twists. At least you’ll get a laugh from them, and you’ll get them off script and will have to think what to answer. Talk in a different language, ask them how their day went, anything you can think of to get them off balance.