The growing popularity of cryptocurrency has seen an increase in cryptocurrency scams.
A cryptocurrency is a digital currency that exists virtually and uses cryptography to secure transactions. It doesn’t rely on the Go-Betweens, such as brokerages, exchanges, banks, or governments. In fact, a peer-to-peer network, known as a blockchain, monitors and organizes the wallet.
Cryptocurrency scams resemble common internet scams. Hackers, for instance, send an email claiming unauthorized activity had occurred. Afterwards, hackers direct account holders to a fake website or mobile app that asks them to enter sensitive information.
Furthermore, you will be asked to reset your password using a one-time password (OTP) bot that grants them access to your account. Once hackers gain access to your account, they’ll drain all of your assets into illicit wallets.
Crypto scams on the rise
Undeniably, crypto scams are on the rise. According to the 2021 Crypto Crimes report by Chainalysis, the total value of cryptocurrencies held by hackers increased by 79% during 2021, with $14 billion in the stash.
Moreover, the BBB of Canada reports the total value of all bitcoins globally is $1.03 trillion. A single bitcoin, worth $2,000 in 2017, reached an all-time high of $67,549 in 2021. That’s because early investors in the market are making significant gains, motivating more people to get involved.
Take the following precautions to protect yourself against a cryptocurrency scam.
- Most cryptocurrency companies do not make unsolicited calls to their customers. They will also never ask you for your password, payment information, or social security number.
- Authenticate no activity using a prompt from an unknown caller.
- Read the links and messages carefully and verify before sharing any information.
- If you respond to a phishing message, contact your bank, credit card company, or cryptocurrency company, hence the need to be vigilant.
In my next post, I will go over the four types of cryptocurrency scams.