Showdown with the scammers

Written for CryptoBanditz

The CryptoBanditz posse cares deeply about our golden nuggets and thinks you should do the same. So, for this blog, we have put on our Billy the Crypto hats, holsters and spur heeled boots to aim our decentralised revolvers at some of the most hated, no good rooting tooting scammers, in this industry!

I had a good old chinwag with a family member about getting into Crypto and the first thing they asked me was… is it a scam? Now I totally understand this question and it’s a good first question, but it shows what the perception of Crypto is for many people. Unfortunately, it’s because of the number of scams people have unwittingly fallen victim to and to add fuel to the fire, some media outlets are spreading FUD and scaremongering, by miss-guided information or merely to add a few stars on their cheap belt buckle.

Good folks at the Better Business Bureau recently released a report into New Risks and Emerging technologies which sheds light on how scammers are operating, whom they are targeting and which scams have the most significant impact. Of the top five riskiest scams, cryptocurrency came in second place (page sample here), which is not showing Crypto in the best of light. But, what was not in the report is all the different ways you can protect yourself from these scams. But have no fear! Cryptobanditz is here to help you protect your golden nuggets safe and secure. 

Before we delve into how you can keep your treasures safe; we should make you aware of the common crypto scams you could come across on your journey towards making your money work for you. Listed below are some of the most common Crypto scams:

Fake ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) 

The emerging company offers a stake in the company through a token, similar to a share. You may have heard of the crypt queen (why she’s called the queen I don’t know) and her OneCoin scamwhich netted approximately £4 Billion through offering a rival to Bitcoin by facilitating payments across the world. This scammer queen still has a bounty on her head. 

So, always do your research when diving into an ICO and ask as many questions to the companies help desk. As you are the one who is investing your time and funds into the ICO.

Fake exchanges

These are exchanges that pretend to have your best interest at heart, but when you are relaxed and feeling that your funds are safe. The rug could be pulled from right under you. Exchanges are not the new bank accounts to leave your funds sitting there indefinitely. 

Use a well-known and trusted exchange (CoinGecko has a good star rating for exchanges) to do your transactions and remove your funds onto your ledger. We should all get used to the saying ‘Not your private keys, not your coins’.

Traditional scams

The scams that sound too good to be true. Send us 0.05 ETH and we will send you back 5 ETH’s in return. Or, the FOMO scams where you fear-of-missing-out on a good deal. But, the only thing you’ll miss is the funds that you have already sent. 

Some countries are doing their best to tackle anti-fraud, giving out a range of different information to help fight against the fraudsters. This information applies to the world of Crypto too! Be vigilant! Remember, you are the first line of defence when it comes to your golden nuggets.

Now there are many more ways the outlaws in the wild west of Crypto are trying to steal your golden nuggets, but instead of going into the rest of those, I thought it would be better to tell you some top tips to protect those golden nuggets when you’re starting. 

  1. Get a VPN (Virtual Private Network). Before you start buying Crypto, my number one piece of advice would be to get a VPN. One of the basic principles of Crypto is that it provides privacy to those who use it, and by using a VPN, you enhance this. It ensures a bridge between your internet service provider and you and this bridge is encrypted, which keeps you protected from those hackers and scammers who may be trying to gain access to your funds.
  2. Use a wallet, this could be paper, app or hardware, but a hardware one is the most secure. Make sure the Crypto you buy is yours! You’ve probably heard us say this before, but I’ll repeat it… Not your keys, not your coins! But what does this mean? Well, when you buy your Crypto, it will usually be through an exchange, and most likely, your Crypto is on that exchange. So, to truly own your assets, you should keep your Crypto on your own personal wallet, preferably a hardware wallet, such as a Ledger.
  3. Research your investments carefully before committing. When you’re thinking about investing in a coin or token, make sure you research and do more research, until you feel 100% ready. A few useful tips to start your research, would be to think about, what are the company aims? What problems are they trying to fix? Will the business model last the test of time? Do they match up with your own ethical and moral beliefs? 
  4.  

At this point, I think it’s essential to learn about decentralised exchanges (DEX) and some of its benefits for using them to help protect your wealth. DEX operates without any central authorities, which makes it censorship-resistant as no one entity can impose regulations. DEX also boasts the highest security levels; this is because, on a centralised exchange, everyone’s digital wallets are in the same place, creating a single point of failure. Wallets on a decentralised exchange are linked to your personal address, making this more secure and private to you only. This boost better protection into the blockchain space. 

Now the wild west of Crypto has many ups and downs, so staying safe while travelling through it, is crucial to you. Protecting those sacks of G-Units is more critical than ever! So, I hope I’ve helped you begin to plot your journey through this land full of significant gains while avoiding your chances of getting REKT by outlaws, scammers and bank robbers. But, above all, saddle up and enjoy the ride! 

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