Scammers in Bitcoin
Welcome back, I’m Kathleen Bitcoin. I’m 20 years old, new to the bitcoin world, and here to write on the current hot topics in bitcoin while I learn about it along the way.
This post is going to be on scammers, an important topic in bitcoin. The other day, my Dad had me follow the wrong account on accident, and it ended up being a fake one. Luckily, I caught onto it being a little off when this account, which was supposed to be fairly popular, started messaging me on Twitter almost immediately after I followed him back; asking how I was doing, etc. In that case, I brought it up to my Dad, and he had me block him and follow the correct one. But that doesn’t mean that everyone is going to have someone like my Dad to let them know who’s real and who’s not. Which means, more are likely to fall victim.
There are a few different types of scams when it comes to bitcoin, one of them being fake exchanges. Bitcoin is slowly but surely becoming more popular, and because of this, more people are trying to buy; more people that don’t know much about bitcoin (easy prey). Scammers take advantage of these people and do what this account was attempting to do to me: try to conduct fake bitcoin sales, which may trick the users by offering extremely competitive prices that make them think they’re getting a great deal.
Another is impersonation, which is creating a fake account to impersonate another. More than likely a popular account. They make it look extremely similar to the original account, so it’s hard to tell the difference, and either post under the original accounts posts offering free bitcoin or privately message you trying to do the same. Another is free giveaways. They do this by making a post offering a free giveaway in exchange for paying a small payment to register, or even by providing personal info. Similar to free giveaways is prize giveaways, which will ask for a name, address, email, phone number. Some may be authentic, you just need to be careful.
Another sneaky way scammers try to steal bitcoin from you is by using malware programs you install to change bitcoin addresses when they’re pasted from a user’s clipboard so the bitcoin gets sent to the scammers address instead. Most likely, you won’t be able to get it back, either. So be cautious about what programs you allow to have access on your electronics.
We should also talk about email scams and websites, and money transfer fraud. Be careful of emails asking for action, like resetting your password. Another obvious one is to avoid clicking any links in emails from unknown sources sent to your account. But scammers are also getting smarter, making it very hard to spot the difference in a fake email compared to the real thing. Do a thorough check of the authenticity before you do anything asked in the email. I know it may seem like a hassle in the moment, but you’ll thank yourself later. Let’s bring it back to clicking on fake links. Fake emails can also link to an imitation website created to steal login info or ask you to install malware. Now, when it comes to money transfer fraud, do not reply to emails or private messages from strangers or random accounts saying they need help moving some money, and afterwards, you’ll get a portion of the funds. I think this is a pretty obvious one, but it doesn’t hurt to mention it.
These are just a few of the different ways scammers will try to get you. Find more information on http://www.bitcoin.org/en/scams .
Just recently there was a case where the Ledger hardware wallet recently had their customer database stolen. They’ve been sending out emails about a data breach, with a link to upgrade to the latest version of hardware. As we have learned, we don’t click links in emails, we go to the original site to download hardware. And with Ledger’s database being stolen, scammers have already used it to convince people to give them their seed words. Those people have lost all their bitcoin. So what can you do? NEVER GIVE YOUR SEED WORDS TO ANYONE!
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