According to crypto scam specialists Whale Alert the amount lost to scammers has quadrupled over the last 6 months with over $20 million lost year to date. Defining a crypto scam is becoming harder as its not just fake coins and sites that we need to consider but also other ransom or sextortion scams where victims are blackmailed into paying with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. On this alert we highlight the most common crypto frauds to look out for and signpost readers towards other Reassura Guides to help those considering investing in this tricky area.
THE FORTUNATE HAVE MADE A FORTUNE ON CRYPTOCURRENCIES, THE UNFORTUNATE HAVE LOST EVERYTHING
Tips and Advice
- The 4 most common crypto scams:
Imposter websites, are fake websites set up to look identical to the real ones, always doublecheck the URL
Fake mobile apps, to steal your cash and personal info are rife, make sure you only download from Google Play or the Apple App Store and even then, make sure it is a well-reviewed and popular app
Social media imposter accounts/updates, Elon Musk giving away bitcoins? Unfortunately, social media is rife with celebrity images being misused to promote fake sites etc, just avoid!
Scam emails are also very common offering amazing returns, fake initial coin offerings etc. Ignore these and look for legitimate ways to invest.
- Personal means private! – Do not divulge personal details unless you are certain who you are sharing it with
- Avoid cold calls – cold calls are not the way reputable companies market their investment products, so don’t buy from a cold call!
- Research, research, research– check up on any firm you are thinking about using, use the FCA’s registry and their warning list as a starting point.
- Don’t be taken in by an impressive looking website/address – with the average loss on these crimes of over £10,000 the fraudsters have plenty of money to invest in a good-looking website.
- Contact – your bank or credit card company if you have already given out financial details
- Report spam texts – by texting CALL to 7726 and they will respond with some questions for details and report fake sites to email@example.com
- ID Protection – If you’re worried about identity fraud and would like to protect your identity contact CIFAS
- Still Unsure? – Call Reassura 0800 888 6400 and one of our fraud advisors will help you to stay safe
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