Although it is impossible to insulate yourself 100% from fraud staying informed can help. Below is a list of a few scams you should look out for.
Phishing websites and emails
Phishing emails can link to a replica website designed to steal login credentials or prompt one to install malware. Do not install software or log in to a website unless you are 100% sure it is not a fake one. As a rule of thumb, it is better to navigate directly to the website yourself rather than clicking on any link in an email. Phishing websites may also appear as sponsored results on search engines or in app marketplaces used by mobile devices. Be wary that you are not downloading a fake app or clicking a sponsored link to a fake website.
Fake exchanges and free giveaways
The unfortunate fact that a crypto transaction cannot be rescinded or undone has led to the creation of various forms of fake exchanges and giveaways. You can recognize this kind of scam because you usually need to give something to get something. You might need to pay a small registration fee or send a small, ‘good faith’ payment while being promised better rates or free giveaways in return. In most cases they will take your payment and give you nothing in return.
A pyramid scheme promises returns to participants based on the number of people they invite to join. This enables the scheme to grow virally and rapidly, however, it most often does not result in any kind of meaningful return for the members and/or those invited who also joined. Its unwise to invite your personal network for the sole goal of accumulating rewards or returns from a product or service, and do not contribute your own capital at the behest of others to accelerate the process.
Unregistered Financial Advisors
There are unscrupulous actors posing as financial advisors that may encourage you to purchase or trade-in cryptocurrency or other speculative investments. It is important you make informed decisions about investments and seek professional advice from a licensed professional. Investing can be fun and profitable but make sure you make informed and independent decisions.
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