Astronomical gains, incredible promises and minimal effort. These are the main ingredients of the scams that use Bitcoin to lure their victims. A type of crime that is becoming increasingly common.
The more popular cryptocurrency becomes, the number of malicious people betting on the same roadmap for profit also increases. Those who want to earn more from Bitcoin trading need to be aware of these dangers.
With that in mind, we have prepared this article to assist you. Therefore, it will be possible to work with this technology while being prepared for any problems. Start learning now!
In this article you will see:
- Which are the most attacked areas?
- What are the most common types of attacks?
- How can you avoid scams with bitcoins?
- How can you identify a scam with bitcoins?
WHICH ARE THE MOST ATTACKED AREAS?
Even though virtual currencies offer freedom and innovation without barriers, allowing you to make money with different and less costly strategies, this type of market is not immune to scams. As in other cases, the goal is to deceive people and steal their assets. However, by knowing how criminal approaches are made it is possible to safeguard your operations and protect the wallet.
Among the most common attacks, there are three main categories you should know about as these are recurring strategies. Let’s look at these groups below.
The first type is software scams that are focused on installing a virus on the user’s device. When inserted into the system, the malware spreads itself through the computer, granting access power to the hacker.
One of the most common scams is the one that simulates real programs and deceives people with fake executables. By installing a pirated program thinking it is an original version, the victim endangers their assets.
Sometimes it can be a bundle of utilities, which are deemed to be important software for the operating system. With this strategy, criminals gain access to the wallet and can steal Bitcoins. This type of scam requires some caution, but needs a slightly more thorough process to reach your goal. After all, it is an application that needs complete installation to affect the computer.
The Ransomware, a common virus that orchestrates the kidnapping of personal data is a type of virus that is categorized as a software scam. The incidence of attacks with this virus has been growing alarmingly in recent years, so it is important to be aware.
WEB LEVEL SCAMS
This type of scam is faster and even more dangerous, as it occurs in the user’s own internet surfing in real time. A common example is creating fake web pages to request Bitcoin information from a particular user.
In this type of crime, the amazing yet deceptive offers about sky-high returns that come up on the network fall within this category. We will see in detail the types of attacks and how they differ from each other in the next topic. The goal here is also to remove user autonomy over their data and hand it all over to people with criminal intent.
INVESTMENT FUND SCAMS
Finally, in our initial division, we have investment fund scams. They are characterized by being giant schemes that need to attract as many people as possible. Therefore, the discourse used is extremely targeted and the objective is to instigate action with heavy investments.
2. WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON TYPES OF ATTACKS?
Cryptocurrency exchanges are virtual currency trading platforms which means that they are places where it is possible to sell, buy and exchange cryptocurrencies. As we are talking about a decentralized technology, it is common that many sites appear claiming that they are trusted and high-quality exchanges, with the intention of applying a scam. This leads to a number of people being fooled into giving their data to hackers.
An exchange should be well chosen, after all, the operations depend a lot on it. This is why this scam is so impactful and harmful to the victims. As hacking methods evolve, criminals are able to create sites that look very much like real exchanges, making distinction a difficult task. In the last topic of this post, we will teach you how to identify a possible fraud.
Another common case involves the distribution of prizes as a reward for certain actions. Of course, the goal is not to reward people, but to get their personal information in a way that makes Bitcoins available.
ICO (Initial Currency Offering) is an opportunity to raise long-term profits by investing in a promising project. However, it is also a great source of malicious strategies. Phantom coins are designed to extract high investments without any return.
FINANCIAL PYRAMID SCHEMES
You probably already know this kind of crime. Just like in the non-virtual world, pyramid schemes are gigantic and depend on the continuous entry of people into a network. To grow, each user must add more users to the pool, with the promise of increasing their earnings and recovering what they invested.
However, it is a zero-sum game. Those who have been there for a long time may earn a lot, but new ones will have to lose a lot to make up. Therefore, it is a highly fraudulent and deceptive scam as it may cause the Bitcoin trader to invest their assets in search of unrealistic dreams and unfeasible results.
Another strategy for extracting money in large quantities is investment clubs. They are based on the same promise as others: people need to put a lot of money in order to earn absurdly higher value in return. However, this is but a lie.
This criminal scheme is among the most dangerous and subtle, so one of the most common. Hackers create applications that act as Bitcoin wallets to allow traders to store their balance and valuable information, such as the private key. Because these systems are fake, data becomes accessible to malicious users who can do what they want with them.
This approach attracts many users due to the fact that wallets can be found on any download platform. Also, many people are not well aware of the various types of wallets and which are the safest for certain quantities. All of these factors create an enabling environment for crime in this market.
Phishing is another of the most popular strategies in the digital world, widely used for other types of information. When it comes to bitcoins, the way they operate is basically the same: criminals create fake notifications, send fake emails with suspicious links, and simulate web pages for information purposes.
People click on the links and are directed to specific forms where they provide all their data. Despite being quite common, it can be hard to notice, since, to differ what is true and false, you need to pay attention to very small details.
TRADE AND ARBITRAGE
There are some cases where criminals come in contact with victims, claiming to have sensitive information or files on them and threatening to expose it. To avoid this, people have to pay Bitcoins. It’s a similar strategy to Ransomware scams for data hijacking.
3. HOW CAN YOU IDENTIFY A SCAM WITH BITCOINS?
There are some typical features of a possible bitcoin scam. By being aware of these signals, you can better protect yourself. These features include:
- Earnings by referral by new members (the base of a pyramid) in levels;
- High returns in a short time;
- Guaranteed returns;
- Lack of mention of risks;
- Money transfer requests via social network or email;
- Outsourcing control over bitcoins or little effort;
- Sites with no SSL lock on the address side;
- Strange addresses;
- Unknown companies;
- Schemes where reseller work is not tied to product sales;
- Grammatical errors in emails or websites;
It is essential to pay close attention if any of these elements are identified. Each opportunity should be looked at with great suspicion, considering that scams are common and increasingly frequent in our times.
4. HOW CAN YOU AVOID SCAMS WITH BITCOINS?
So how can one prevent these problems and preserve the Bitcoin wallet? As mentioned earlier, criminal approaches always follow the same tectic, making it easier to understand and work on prevention.
The first tip, unanimous among experts, is to use an antivirus. The softwares with this function are crucial to protect devices with constant scans, navigation monitoring and other specific tools. This way you can close the doors and ensure greater security.
The update of devices is also essential, after all, failures and breaches of operating systems are always corrected in these new versions that manufacturers release. By having these corrections, the user ensures reliability. This is true for both computer and smartphone systems and for the software portfolios themselves.
In the case of wallets, it is important to use the ones called hot (online) for a smaller amount of assets, while the larger amount should be reserved for the cold ones (offlines). For those that are downloaded, it is best to look for the reputation of the provider company and only download from trusted stores, paying attention to other people’s opinions and permissions.
Some positive habits and good practices help when using the internet. Always be suspicious of strange links, contents and analyze the address of each site, especially when it comes to cryptocurrency operations. Avoid downloads and clicks on emails as they are a common means for scams.
When the opportunity arises for investing in some new technology, thoroughly investigate the companies involved and make sure that cryptocurrencies are registered with CoinMarketCap and provide technical documentation.
Crimes involving Bitcoin are rapidly proliferating in our era. The speed, decentralization and mobility of the internet facilitate these attacks and allow all of this to be done to a very high degree of perfection, which deceives many people.
However, with some good practices, users can enforce protection and prevent these malicious scams by performing their operations safely. Thus, it is possible to make profits without encountering any problem, and if you do, you’ll be better equipped to deal with them.