Digital money (or digital currency) refers to any means of payment that exists in a purely electronic form, such as Bitcoin or the way banks can move money between themselves without there being any physical representation of the currency.
If you already own cryptocurrency, chances are it’s stored in a digital wallet and you have both public and private keys that provide access to it. Scammers try to get you to hand over the private keys – to join their ‘investment’ or to make your currency more secure or to upgrade etc.
Never hand over the private keys as you will be saying goodbye to your currency.
If you don’t have cryptocurrency but are thinking of investing in some, then only deal with well-established reputable businesses – not the ones that appear on social media or in adverts offering something better than everyone else.
Tips to Avoid Cryptocurrency Scams
- Ignore Cold Callers: They should never be trusted. Cold callers trying to sell cryptocurrency investments are guaranteed to be scammers.
- Avoid Social Media Adverts: Scammers often use social media to advertise fake cryptocurrency investment opportunities. The ads may look professional and you might think that because they are on Facebook or Twitter then they must be genuine but that’s not the case – anyone, including scammers can advertise almost anything on social media.
- Too Good To Be True: Cryptocurrency scams often promise to make high returns from your initial investments that are too good to be true. Any company offering get-rich-quick investment opportunities is likely to be fraudulent and if they offer guaranteed returns then it’s definitely a scam.
- Take Your Time: Scammers typically try to put pressure onto try to force a ‘sale’ e.g. the offer ends anytime now, or you will be the last person accepted into this plan or something similar condition. Always take your time and do your research before making any decisions.
- Celebrity Endorsement: A lot of scammers use fake adverts with photos of some celebrity and claim their endorsement, but these are almost always fake and clearly ridiculous. The relevant celebrities often struggle to stop the adverts using their name but the advertiser disappears before they can be found and then re-appears again with the same adverts. Plus, of course most celebrities know nothing of cryptocurrencies.
If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.