Bitcoin scams are on the rise as more internet fraudsters continue to attack cyberspace. Bitcoin is a decentralized currency, which means your transactions cannot be reversed. This has been both an advantage and a disadvantage to users, as you can’t possibly get a refund of your money if it is mistakenly sent to the wrong account. This is why extra precautions must be taken when dealing with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin scams have significantly improved over the last few years. While $5 million was recorded to have been scammed off unsuspecting victims in 2017, about 5X of that amount for a total of $24 million was recorded in the first quarter of 2020. The numbers have increased over subsequent months and now more than ever, you need to take precautions to avoid bitcoin scams.
How to Avoid Bitcoin Scams
Choose Your App Wisely
The first thing you’ll need to get started with trading bitcoin is your bitcoin wallet and scammers often use this as bait to get naive people. There are several apps available today, including the Bitcoin UP app and there are key things to look out for when choosing one for yourself. Start by confirming the authenticity and reputation of the app; check the company that owns it and do your research to be sure they are who they claim to be.
For security purposes, check their website and ensure it is a secure platform. You should also ensure you aren’t downloading a fake mobile app; do this by checking for misspellings or a tweak in the logo that could make you mistaken it for the original.
Other features to look out for include the transparency and the security measures in place. Check how tight the security is and it must especially include two-factor authentication. You may also want to check for user anonymity and reviews from previous users of the app.
Avoid Impostor Websites
This is quite a tricky one as anyone can create a website today and claim to be legit. However, there are ways to go about this to ensure you don’t fall victim. Check if the site is secure with the HTTPS prefix in the URL and always confirm that you’re not redirected to a different site for payment. If the payment site has a different URL, you are likely being scammed. There might also be deliberate attempts at mimicking legit websites by creating fake URLs and replacing one or two letters in it. Always type the link directly into your browser rather than clicking random links and assuming you’re on the right page.
Watch Out for Ridiculous Offers
Many people are looking for a get-rich-quick scheme and internet fraudsters tend to take advantage of that. Always look out for sites that promise you ridiculous return rates, discounts, or promotional offers. You should especially check if they are keen on you sending money within a short time frame to get a ridiculous offer back.
There will always be bitcoin scams everywhere but you can play your part in ensuring that you aren’t a victim.