There are many scams involving cryptocurrency, here are the most common ones:
The ‘Lost Bitcoin’ Scam
You’ll be contacted by a company that say they have located some Bitcoin (or other valuable crypto) belonging to you that is now worth quite a lot of money. The company can return it to you but first you need to pay them a fee in order to release it. They may say this is necessary because the Bitcoin is “frozen” or “stuck” etc. on the blockchain, or that they need to buy some software to release the Bitcoin. The FACTS: This is a complete lie and the scammers are just phishing to see if you’ll bite. Take my word for it, you don’t have a large amount of Bitcoin. Do not communicate with the scammers. Instead, move their emails into Spam and move on.
The Fake Mining Company
You decided to try your hand at mining some crypto and found a web site that looked friendly. You set up a mining account and were given a wallet address where the mined coins would be deposited. However you’ve now discovered that you can’t access your mined coins or that they’ve disappeared from your wallet. The FACTS: The wallet you’ve been mining into is controlled by someone else. If they ask for money to release your coins don’t pay them as you’ll never get your coins. Stop mining and move on.
The Fake Investing Company
Cryptocurrency is currently unregulated and a large number of unscrupulous scammers have created web sites that look like legitimate crypto investment companies. They’ll create fake pages on their website that show your account details and balance and they’ll also tell you that your investment is growing massively. This is to get you to invest more money with them. The FACTS: The scammers never invested any of your money and the figures relating to your account on their website are fictitious. Any money you have paid them has gone straight into their pockets and not into the crypto they said they were buying for you. Put their emails in spam, block their calls and move on.
The Blackmail Email
You’ll receive an email saying your computer has been hacked and a scammer threatening to release your (illegal) browsing history online. The FACTS: This is just a phishing attack – Your computer hasn’t been hacked, they are just trying to scare you. Delete the email and move on.
Is there any chance of getting your money back from a scammer ?
If you’ve paid the scammer in crypto then no, there is no chance of getting your crypto back. This is because blockchain transactions are irreversible, so once you’ve sent them your crypto it is lost.
If you’ve paid the scammer in fiat currency such as US $, British £, or European € then your bank maybe able to reverse the transactions. Go and see them
You should also report that you’ve been scammed to your country’s police force. It’s extremely unlikely they’ll be able to help, but it’s still important that you report it.
Unfortunately scams are common in all areas of life, especially in crypto and go on all the time. The scams below are ones we’ve been alerted to personally, usually by people contacting us who have been the victims of them.
Important: Almost all of the time the victims of crypto scams are uninformed and uneducated about crypto. If you’ve got crypto the best thing you can do to protect yourself against scammers is the learn about crypto and how it works. You need to protect your investments by learning about them, this in turn protects you from being scammed.
Start your crypto education by watching this excellent video: