Top 9 common types of internet scams - learn how to protect yourself from crypto fraud
Internet users fall prey to various scams that lurk on the Internet. Below, we debunk the most common forms of fraud and offer advice on how to avoid them and prevent the loss of money.
The basic rule is: if the situation sounds too good to be true, chances are very high that it is a scam.
The story often starts when harmless surfing the Internet ends with registration on a service that promises easy money on the Internet. The next step is to get a call, e-mail or message from a fake broker aimed at extorting as much money as possible.
If the call was successful, the user pays the money via Bitcoin, card or bank transaction. Upon receipt of the money, the broker regularly sends the user statements on the alleged earnings which tickles the imagination and entices the user to increase the initial stake.
When the user starts insisting on paying the profit the whole story comes to the wall and the contact is broken. It becomes clear to the user that this is a scam, but then it is too late to undo what has been done.
The worst cases arise when customers embark on debts or loans and jeopardize their fragile financial stability.
Characteristics of the most common forms of fraud
Scammers are becoming more imaginative and lurking vulnerable victims by pressing their weak points. So be careful what personal information you share on social media or with strangers. Any information you publish can serve as a lever to fraudsters.
In addition to the example of financial fraud that we have described, there is a whole range of different scams that are most commonly spread via email and social media. Some of the most common scams include:
- Unexpected cash gain
- Ripple Packages (or some other cryptocurrency)
- Fake donations
- False representation
- Fake romantic relationship
- Fake lottery winnings
- Fake tax payments
- Random threats
All of these scams require users to send money to pay for imaginary costs, services, or prevent the release of sensitive data to the public. On the other hand, some scams aim to collect personal information and steal the identity of the user.
Each scam targets a specific group of users who are fertile ground for scammers while in vulnerable circumstances. So in recent months, various romantic scams have flourished because fraudsters abuse the relative isolation of people caused by epidemiological measures.
More complex types of scams include pyramid and ponzi schemes where more resources are needed to make a scam successful.
Contract payment obligation
There is currently an ongoing fraud with contract payment obligation in which fraudsters falsely present themselves as representatives of the Blockchain.com platform.
The contract states that you must pay a commission or fee for a Bitcoin transaction before they can send you an incredible amount of bitcoin. It is immediately clear that this is a scam that is best to be ignored.
Telegram - Full of scammers
Telegram is a popular chat application among the crypto community which has significantly increased the number of users thanks to incidents that have plagued WhatsApp in recent months.
The openness of this great and very useful uncensored communication tool is used by many fraudsters and abused to find potential victims. Be aware that fraudsters lurk within all Telegram groups.
The worst are the support groups of various mobile wallets where fraudsters falsely present themselves as technical support agents and entice users to send them their private keys. But this is just one example, you will probably come across all forms of scams described earlier.
How to avoid scams?
The solution is self-evident and simple and straightforward. However, fraudsters are good with words and skillfully manipulate gullible people by promising hills and valleys. A dream sports car, a penthouse on top of a skyscraper or a guaranteed pension sound tempting and lower the guard by opening the door to fraudsters.
First and foremost, never invest or pay with money you are not willing to lose right away. This primarily refers to raising a loan or debt that you will not be able to repay if the "investment" fails.
With a healthy dose of caution and a few safety rules, the internet will become a much safer place. You will find it easier to protect yourself and avoid most tricks and scams:
- Never give out your password, PIN, private key or security words to anyone
- When we say never, really mean it, there is no valid reason to the contrary
- Don’t send cryptocurrencies in hopes of getting a higher amount back
- Quick and easy earnings on the Internet do NOT exist
- Earnings of 1% or more on a daily basis are not sustainable and it is a scam
- Do not give personal information to unknown people and services
- Never open suspicious email attachments or install suspicious programs
Read HANFA announcements
Before each investment, be well informed, maintain a high dose of skepticism and be prepared to take the complete risk of the investment. Hanfa offers useful information that will further help you identify fraud:
- You can find the register of authorized cryptocurrency institutions here
- Read HANFA updated investor warnings here
List of (possible) scams and fraudsters
Below you will find a list of potential scams that we will try to update regularly and thus draw the attention of our users to increase caution in any business or interaction with these services.
- Yuan Pay Group
- Imperial Finance
- InvestFd InvestFeed
What to do if you become a victim of a scam?
Unfortunately your options are very limited. Conducted crypto transactions are final and can not be reversed. Also, crypto addresses are not associated with first and last name, so it is rarely possible to find out who is behind a particular address or wallet.
If it is a bank transaction you may be more fortunate if you react quickly and manage to stop or cancel the transaction. But it is very likely that you will have to say goodbye to your lost money. Try to learn a lesson so that a similar situation does not happen again in the future.
Dear customers, stop sending hard-earned money to unknown brokers, fake financial advisors, various "gurus" and similar malicious people.
Be sure to read the brochure published by Hanfa. You will find additional information on various financial frauds and tips on how to avoid them.
Bitcoin is a valuable asset, by sending Bitcoin to fraudsters you are doing yourself double financial damage. Educate yourself and prevent losing money until it’s too late.
Do not send cryptocurrencies to people you don't personally know.