Crypto or digital currencies are “hot”, regularly we hear about how Bitcoin or Ethereum and the fact that Bitcoin increased in value in 2017 by a staggering 13 times. Digital offer an alternative way of investing; buying or selling and making financial transactions that are not controlled by the government. Fraudsters are aware of the unpredictable circumstances surrounding digital currencies and seek to take advantage of these conditions. According to Action Fraud, in June 2018 and July 2018 a staggering £10,095 per person was lost to cryptocurrency fraud. This article will address the most common cryptocurrency scams and provide some tips to avoid becoming a victim.
Common Cryptocurrency Scams
The swindler will call unexpectedly offering a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to invest in cryptocurrency. The fraudster will talk persuasively, explaining all the benefits of the investment and that you don’t want to miss out.
Social Media Platforms
Fraudsters will advertise lucrative investment opportunities on social media platforms, to trick you into signing attractive ‘get rich quick’ investments. These adverts are a deceptive ploy, to get into your wallet. Often criminals will use testimonials, pictures of well-known celebrities and brands, to bolster the legitimacy of their adverts.
Cryptocurrency Investment Websites
Fake websites are created with a high level of sophistication and a very realistic veneer of respectability. The aim is to win you over and get you to share your personal details and bank account information as you set up an investment account with them.
How to Avoid becoming a victim of cryptocurrency Scams
- Don’t be hasty – a legitimate bank or finance organisation will honor the need to think before deciding. Be weary of organisations using pressure tactics to get you to part with your money.
- Get rich quick – if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t true!
- Homework – thoroughly research the finance company that you are considering. Seek independent advice with help from a financial advisor.
- Cold calls – avoid anyone that calls offering you an investment over the phone.
- Social media– avoid responding to investment ads on social media. Likewise, don’t share any personal or financial details on social media.
- Investment websites – don’t be fooled by websites that appear legitimate. Contact the Financial Conduct Authority FCA for all companies that are registered to help with investments, use the FCA’s registry and their warning list as a starting point.
- Still unsure? – call Reassura 0800 888 6400 and one of our fraud advisors will support you to avoid becoming a victim of cryptocurrency fraud.
What to do if you think that you have already been a victim of cryptocurrency fraud.
If you suspect that you have been a victim of cryptocurrency fraud
- Contact Action Fraud to report the crime: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_ fraud and get a Crime Reference Number.
- Contact the Financial Conduct Authority
- If you have made any payment with your credit card contact your credit card provider’s fraud department.
- If you paid by debit card, contact your bank.
- If you’re worried about identity fraud contact CIFAS
Reassura is dedicated to helping raise awareness of scams and fraud and the impact they have on their victims. Reassura’s team of specialist anti-fraud advisors are on-hand to offer advice designed to help individuals make better informed decisions and avoid the unpleasant consequences of becoming a victim. For further information visit: https://reassura.com or call 0800 888 6400