Top Four Bitcoin Frauds

News, Opinion | March 1, 2021 By:

Bitcoins, Litecoins, Tethers,  and other tokens are getting more popular. People can use them when they pay for their pizza, betting promotions, or buy something online. Yet, scammers are also getting smarter and creating new frauds. Here are the most popular BTC scams. 

Copy-and-Paste Viruses

Copy-and-paste malware is a very clever way for scammers to steal your money. Such malware intercepts data from the clipboard, and if you are not careful, you will send money directly to criminals.

Let’s say you want to transfer BTC to your buddy Bob. As usual, he sends you his Bitcoin address so you can copy and paste it into a form in the cryptocurrency wallet app. However, if your device is compromised by a copy-and-paste virus, the moment you paste Bob’s address from the clipboard, it will automatically be replaced by the attacker’s address. This means that after sending and confirming the Bitcoin transaction, the scammer will have your Bitcoins and Bob will get nothing.

To avoid this kind of scam, keep a close eye on your computer security. Beware of suspicious messages and emails that may contain infected attachments or dangerous links. Pay attention to the sites you visit and the software you install on your devices. You should also consider installing anti-virus and regularly scanning for threats. It’s also important to keep your device’s operating system updated.

Phishing Emails

There are several types of phishing emails. One of the most common is through phishing emails, which try to trick you into downloading an infected file or following a link that leads to a malicious website that looks like the real thing. Such emails are especially dangerous when they mimic a product or service that you use frequently.

The message usually asks scammers to take immediate action to protect your account or funds. They may ask you to change your account information, reset your password, or download documents. In most cases, their goal is to steal your credentials. So, they can try to hack your account.

The first step to protect yourself from phishing is to check if the email was sent by a trustworthy source. If in doubt, you can contact the company directly to confirm that the email you received was indeed sent by them. Second, you can hover over (without clicking) the links in the email to check if the URLs have spelling errors, unusual characters, or other anomalies.

Even if you can’t find any suspicious features, don’t click on the links. If you need to access your account, do so in other ways, such as typing the URL manually or using bookmarks.

Ponzi and Pyramid Schemes

Ponzi and pyramid schemes are two of the oldest financial frauds in history. A Ponzi scheme is an investment strategy in which profits to previous investors are paid off with money from new investors. When the scammer can no longer attract new investors, the money stops flowing. 

A pyramid scheme is a business model in which participants are paid depending on how many new participants they attract. When it becomes impossible to enroll new members, the cash flow stops.

The best way to avoid any of these schemes is to study the cryptocurrency you buy, whether it is Bitcoin or any altcoin. If the value of a cryptocurrency depends on the appearance of new investors or participants, then you have most likely discovered a Ponzi scheme or pyramid scheme.

Ransomware Viruses

Ransomware viruses are those that either block victims’ mobile devices and computers or prevent them from accessing valuable data unless a ransom is paid. These attacks can be particularly disastrous if they target hospitals, airports and government offices.

Typically, a ransomware virus will block access to important files or databases, threatening to delete them if payment is not received by the due date. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the attackers will keep their promise.