How to Avoid Cryptocurrency Scams and Frauds


This article explores various cryptocurrency scams and offers practical guidance on how to secure your investments. From protecting your wallet to avoiding rug pulls, this guide provides valuable insights to help you navigate the crypto world with caution.

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The crypto sphere has witnessed a meteoric rise in recent years, attracting both genuine crypto enthusiasts and, unfortunately, a swarm of opportunistic scammers. In 2021, the Federal Trade Commission received reports from over 46,000 individuals who had fallen victim to cryptocurrency scams, resulting in a staggering collective loss of $1 billion.

This alarming statistic highlights the dire need to be cautious and informed in the face of a largely unregulated industry that hosts millions of investors. It does not matter whether you are new to crypto or have been trading assets in this market for a while, it is important for you to be aware of these scams and take necessary steps to avoid it.

In this article we will take a look at some of the most common cryptocurrency scams and frauds and what you can do to avoid them. Let’s take a look:

Types of Cryptocurrency Scams

The most common types of cryptocurrency scams one should be aware of in 2023 includes the following:

Beware of Fake Websites

Scammers employ a deceitful strategy known as fake websites to trick unsuspecting individuals. These fraudulent platforms mimic legitimate cryptocurrency trading sites or official crypto wallets with slight variations in their domain names, making them appear nearly identical. Recognizing the disparity can be challenging for users. Fake cryptocurrency websites typically operate through two deceptive methods:

Firstly, some masquerade as phishing pages. When users input sensitive information such as their crypto wallet password, recovery phrase, and financial details, these malicious actors swiftly gain access to the data, putting users at risk.

Secondly, these sham websites resort to straightforward theft. Initially, they may allow users to withdraw small sums, creating a facade of legitimacy. As users gain confidence and invest more funds, the websites often renege on withdrawal requests or abruptly vanish, leaving victims in financial distress.

It is advised that you always check the website you are visiting properly and make sure that you are on the right domain to avoid such scams.

Avoid Phishing Scams

Phishing scams pose a significant threat, especially when it comes to online wallets. These scams primarily target a critical piece of information such as your crypto wallet’s private keys. Their approach closely mirrors the tactics employed in other phishing attempts, which we’ve discussed earlier in relation to fake websites.

It typically starts with the scammer sending deceptive emails that lure recipients to a meticulously crafted website. On this site, victims are prompted to enter their private key information. Once the hackers obtain these vital details, they steal and flee with the cryptocurrency stored in those wallets.

To protect your digital assets from these crafty schemes, you must be vigilant. Be cautious when dealing with emails and websites related to your cryptocurrency activities, and never disclose your private key information to anyone.

Fake Giveaways Scams

As the title suggests these scams involve scammers making enticing promises to match or multiply the cryptocurrency sent to them. They often present themselves through seemingly legitimate social media accounts, crafting clever messages that create an illusion of credibility and urgency.

These “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunities can pressure individuals into transferring their funds hastily, all in the hopes of receiving an instant prize bag. In reality these giveaways are just imposters trying to steal your money.

It is strong advised that if you ever come across a giveaway that requires you to send a considerable amount first up in order to access your winnings then you should avoid it all costs.

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Fake Apps

Cryptocurrency investors should also refrain from downloading suspicious apps. These deceptive applications are often available for download on trusted platforms like Google Play and the Apple App Store. While authorities work diligently to identify and remove such fraudulent apps, they still end up damaging a handful of users.

Numerous individuals have fallen prey to these impostor cryptocurrency apps, each masked under different pretenses. Some promise Bitcoin mining opportunities, while others claim to enhance the security of your funds. However, the harsh reality is that these apps are crafted with the sole intent of stealing your hard-earned money.

Social Engineering Scams

This is a type of scam where attackers employ psychological manipulation and deceit to obtain crucial information about user accounts. These scams are cunning in their approach, convincing individuals that they are interacting with a trusted entity, be it a government agency, well-known business, tech support, community member, colleague, or even a friend.

Scammers employ various tactics and are patient in their efforts to earn the victim’s trust. Once trust is established, victims may innocently disclose sensitive information or send money to the scammer’s digital wallet.

That is why it is strong advised that whenever a seemingly trusted entity, demands cryptocurrency from you for any reasons know that they might not be legit. Staying informed and skeptical is key to protecting oneself from social engineering scams.

Cloud Mining Scams

Cloud mining may sound like a convenient way to engage in cryptocurrency mining without the hassle of purchasing and maintaining expensive hardware, but the reality is much different.

In this setup, companies offer to rent their mining hardware for a fixed fee and a promise of shared revenue. However, none of it is practical. Many cloud mining ventures turn out to be scams, or at best, ineffective.

Instead of reaping profits as implied, individuals often find themselves losing money or earning significantly less than expected. It is better to avoid these mining cloud services at all costs. If you are interested in mining having your own setup is always the best option.

Blackmail and Extortion Scams

Though this falls under social engineering, it is still important to highlight this scam separately. Sending blackmail emails is a method scammer have been using for decades.

In such emails, scam artists claim to have a record of adult websites or other illicit web pages visited by the user and threaten to expose them unless they share private keys or send cryptocurrency to the scammer. These cases represent a criminal extortion attempt and should be reported to an enforcement agency such as the FBI.

A lot of users fall for this scam and ends up sending a hefty amount of crypto to the scammer. However, the truth is that they never have any of your personal information and are just trying to bait you.

Pump & Dump Schemes

Pump and dump schemes revolve around fraudulent efforts to boost the popularity of a specific cryptocurrency coin or token. Scammers execute these schemes through tactics like mass email campaigns or social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or Telegram. When these fraudsters create a buzz around a particular asset, traders often rush to buy it, causing its price to skyrocket.

However, the scammers’ goal is to capitalize on this inflated value by selling their holdings, triggering a rapid crash in the asset’s worth, sometimes within mere minutes. It might seem like a good idea to make quick bucks, but it backfires most of the time and is extremely dangerous.

Risky ICOs and NFTs

Cryptocurrency-based investments, including initial coin offerings (ICOs) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), have opened up new opportunities for scammers to target your finances. It’s crucial to understand that while crypto-based investments and business prospects may appear attractive, they don’t always align with reality.

For instance, some scammers set up fake websites for ICOs and convince users into depositing cryptocurrency into compromised wallets. In other cases, the ICO itself may be problematic. It is better to steer clear of ICOs and NFTs if you don’t have deep understanding of how these things work.

Rug Pulls

Rug pulls are a deceptive maneuver where project members gather capital or cryptocurrency to support a project and then swiftly withdraw all liquidity before vanishing. This abrupt action leaves the project abandoned, resulting in investors losing their entire contributions. It’s essential to be aware of such schemes to protect your investments in the crypto space.

One way to steer clear of rug pulls is to stay away from investing in projects that have low market cap and does not have a solid presence on internet apart from the hype.

How to Avoid Cryptocurrency Scams

There are a number of things you can do to avoid being scammed by these predators out there. Below are some tips that can help you stay safe year around.

Protect Your Wallet

Secure your cryptocurrency wallet by keeping your private keys strictly confidential. Sharing them with others, especially for investment opportunities, can lead to fraud or loss of funds. Protect your wallet like you would any othter valuable possession.

Monitor Your Wallet App

Before transferring significant amounts, test a new wallet app by sending a small sum to verify its legitimacy. If you notice any suspicious behavior while updating the app, immediately cancel the update and uninstall the application. Prioritize your wallet’s security.

Understand Before You Invest

Before diving into any cryptocurrency investment, ensure you comprehend how it works. Take the time to research the project, its technology, and its goals. Seek clarity in the complexities of that particular project before committing your funds.

Don’t Rush Your Decisions

Scammers often use high-pressure tactics to rush you into investments with promises of quick riches. Resist the urge to invest hastily. Invest time in conducting thorough research and making informed decisions backed by reasoning.

Be Cautious of Social Media Ads

Exercise caution when encountering crypto opportunities on social media. Scammers may employ unauthorized images of celebrities or enticing giveaways to lure victims. Approach such promotions with skepticism and conduct thorough research before participating.

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Ignore Cold Calls

Disregard cold calls or messages regarding cryptocurrency investments. Legitimate opportunities won’t come knocking unexpectedly. Avoid disclosing personal information or transferring funds in response to such calls.

Use Official App Stores

Prioritize downloading cryptocurrency apps exclusively from official sources, such as Google Play Store or Apple App Store. While fake apps may still appear, these platforms offer a safer environment for app downloads.

Research Obscure Cryptocurrencies

When encountering unfamiliar cryptocurrencies, delve into research. Explore their whitepapers, understand their teams and operations, and seek credible reviews. Check for the cryptocurrency’s presence on a trusted fake cryptocurrency list to verify legitimacy.

Skepticism for Unrealistic Promises

Approach companies that promise guaranteed returns or overnight wealth with skepticism. If an opportunity sounds too good to be true, it often is. Trust your instincts and thoroughly investigate before making financial commitments.


When step into the crypto world you are vulnerable from day one. It is important for crypto users to understand that they are always at risk. However, protecting yourself from these scams is no rocket science. As long as you are following the above-mentioned tips you will be able to protect your assets better. By simply being extra cautious and avoiding social engineering tactics, you can avoid up to 99% of these scammers. It is always advised that you stay up to date with latest happenings related to crypto security as it will alert you if something fishy is going around at present.

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