The year 2021 was entirely dominated by cryptocurrency and millions of people change their fate by earning millions of dollars overnight. It was the year that bitcoin had an all-time high of more than $68000.
More than 46,000 people have lost over $1 billion because of crypto scams since 2021 according to reports by CNBC.
It seems like the world of blockchain is not safe as it promised. The number of crypto users is expected to exceed one billion at the end of 2022. This means that cryptocurrency has caught the eyes of investors worldwide.
But on the flip side, it has caught the eyes of scammers because wherever money flows, so do scams.
We will talk about the following below:
- What is a cryptocurrency scam?
- 9 deadly crypto scams in 2022
- Fake telegram group/channel scam
- Fake admin telegram scam
- Signal group scam
- Phishing scam
- Sextortion email scam
- Airdrop scam
- Fake investment scams
- Romance scam
- Social media giveaway scams
- How to identify crypto scams (Red flags)
What is a cryptocurrency scam?
A cryptocurrency scam is like any other financial scam where scammers trick people into paying them cryptocurrencies or disclosing key information related to crypto users’ digital wallets, which allows them to hack into people’s accounts to steal their cryptocurrencies.
9 deadly crypto scams in 2022
Fake telegram group/channel scam
Scammers look for crypto influencers on youtube, TikTok, Instagram, and even on cryptocurrency blogs, then they create a telegram channel with the influencer’s name, buy lots of subscribers to make it look real or legitimate, and even post the same content from the real influencer handle. Later they will start dropping investments on the group/channel which is the same as Ponzi schemes. If you message these guys and send them money, you will be scammed.
To avoid this, do not go on telegram and type the name of the influencer. Remember to report such groups/channels for it to be blocked.
Fake Admin Telegram scam
If you are in a telegram group and you receive a private message from an admin who probably answered a question you might have asked in the group and offered to help you with some setting/setup and request for your password, private key, or a juicy investment, then request for money, know that the person is not an admin but a scammer.
Note: An admin will never contact you first.
Make sure that you are on the official channel and that any admin or anyone that contacts you first is a RED ALERT.
Crypto signal group scam
Crypto signal is a group where signals are dropped for crypto traders and most of these free groups are where people get scammed easily.
The most interesting thing about this scam is that you might not even realize that you have been scammed.
Most of these signal groups work this way:
They will have a few free signal groups and a premium group/channel, they will post a few signals in the free group and you might not even get value from these free signals that they are posting. They will constantly bombard the group with mouth-watering results from the premium channels and encourage you to join. The subscription for the premium channel can be high as $250 a month; you will be added to the group once you pay and you will receive a lot of signals and you might not make money from any of these signals. You would have been scammed without realizing it because the scammers might have a disclaimer that “There are no guarantees”.
Real signal groups are bent on getting results while the fake signal group is interested in your monthly subscription whether you are making profits or not.
Phishing is one of the most widespread scams practiced in the cryptocurrency industry and this type of fraud is not unique to virtual currencies. It means tricking the victims into revealing sensitive details like passwords, keys, and some other information.
Key refers to the private key required to access any safe cryptocurrency wallet. It functions in the same way as a password because it is the only thing that grants you unrestricted access to your financial resources.
In phishing scams, scammers usually send emails that carry links to malicious websites where they ask you to fill out some personal crypto details like your password or wallet key, which gives them access to your wallet. Once the details are entered, your cryptocurrencies are gone in a blink of an eye.
According to FBI, more than 114,700 people fell victim to phishing scams in 2021, losing $57.8 million.
Users refrain from clicking on any random link that they come across on twitter. Users should double-check the Twitter handle or the discord ID referring to another walmare platform for walmare communication. Make sure that any link you click on twitter comes from verified accounts.
Sextortion email scam:
This scam usually begins with an email containing digital footage or images of the victim using their webcam, screenshots of their computer screen, and other pictures and information that could compromise their safety.
Scammers deceive their victims by making them to believe that the victims are the owners of the photos and recordings in question, after which they threaten to send copies of them to the victim’s friends, family members, and employers as well as begin sharing them on varieties of social media platforms.
When confronted with a deadline of only 48 hours to pay the blackmail or risk being exposed, many victims are unwilling to take the risk or refuse demands from such scammers. Such scammers will deceive and take all money from your wallet.
Tokens will be dropped into your digital wallet as a reward for completing certain tasks using a specific platform or a piece of software when you participate in an airdrop.
The scam is carried out as follows:
An entity will airdrop you a token that appears to have value and when you exchange that airdrop for another well-known token, you give a protocol more permission than you realize. The scam works like this and this grant the hacker access to all of the stored assets in your wallets.
Fake investment scam
Out of nowhere, a hot-shot investment manager will call you, promising some serious profits if you invest in their crypto investment. To win over your trust, they might also claim to have helped many investors make millions of dollars by investing in cryptocurrency. They may ask for an upfront fee or your personal details claiming to use that for transferring or depositing funds. But actually, they use these details to gain access to your wallet and steal all your coins.
Sometimes online dating strictly confined to long-distance relationships can be a bit of scam. Adding cryptocurrency to it, the chances of being scammed just reach a higher level.
In a romance scam, scammers typically use online dating apps to gain trust over their partners and once the trust is established, the conversation suddenly shifts to lucrative cryptocurrency investment opportunities, at the end scammers lure their partners into transferring some cryptocurrencies to them.
The dangerous thing about romance scams is that scammers can steal tons of cryptocurrencies from you for a very long time before you realize it.
Social media giveaway scams
These are scams where scammers use social media posts to promise cryptocurrency giveaway by multiplying crypto investments quickly.
Scammers usually hack celebrity accounts or pose themselves as celebrities, business people or cryptocurrency influencers.
However, once you click on the giveaway offer, you will be directed to a website asking you to make payments as part of your account verification process.
According to some reports before March 2021, Elon musk’s impersonators stole close to $2 million from investors as part of giveaway scams.
How to identify crypto scams (Red flags)
- Remember cryptocurrencies are highly volatile, and any scheme that promises guaranteed return is probably a scam.
- Any scheme or offer that promises free money is potentially a scam.
- Do not trust someone who promises you big claims without letting you in on the details of the investment.
- Before putting your money in an investment scheme, make sure you search all the details of the company and its customer reviews online by using “scam” and “review” after the company’s name.
Read more: How to spot Cryptocurrency scams
The Blockchain that’s the best to consider and dig into now
Significantly, interest in blockchain has increase and grown tremendously over the years and If you are looking to start or join a platform, there are some you need to put into consideration and this article has been prepared to give you the latest picks.
Blockchain technology could be the answer for a new approach for supply chain participants to share and to transact data more efficiently and with more transparency.
In our research, we have finally come to a conclusion and these are the report and platforms to consider today.
Don’t be amazed to see this on the #1 on our list. If you are looking for the best secure block chain based secure crypto currency platform, ETHEREUM is the best to consider.
ETHEREUM which was introduced in 2013 is one of the most established and oldest blockchain platform. ETHEREUM is one of the decentralized blockchain platform that provides a field of a peer to peer network that executes application code and this is referred to as Smart Contract.
Smart contracts allow participants to transact with each other without a trusted central authority. Transaction records are verifiable and securely distributed across the network, giving participants full ownership and visibility into transaction data. Transactions are sent from and received by user-created Ethereum accounts. The sender must sign transactions and spend Ether, Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency, as a cost of processing transactions on the network.
The backbone of ETHEREUM is the Smart Contract and inclusively its weaknesses slow processing times and higher transaction processing costs compared to other platforms.
The active developer community of ETHEREUM which include over 250+ members with members including Microsoft, Intel and etc. The Ethereum community is in the process of migrating from the existing proof of work (PoW) consensus mechanism to proof of stake (PoS), which is more energy-friendly. This migration has required an elaborate process to spin up a separate, new type of blockchain called a Beacon chain that is being merged into the existing, main Ethereum blockchain.
Ethereum’s large user base encourages developers to deploy their applications on the network, which further reinforces Ethereum as the primary home for decentralized applications like DeFi and NFTs.
Other platform to look into are:
- IBM Blockchain
- Hyperledger Sawtooth
- R3 Corza
Which Blockchain does Bitcoin use?
Bitcoin uses a PROOF OF WORK (POW) system and mechanism to establish its consensus across its distributed networks. Proof-of-work is the mechanism that allows the decentralized Bitcoin just like Ethereum network to come to consensus, or agree on things like account balances and the order of transactions.
Proof of Work over the years has played a very crucial and vital role in the history of cryptocurrency, it has provide the solution to confirm and record cryptocurrency transactions without the involvement of financial institutions.
Every cryptocurrency has a blockchain, which is a public ledger made up of blocks of transactions. With proof-of-work cryptocurrencies, each block of transactions has a specific hash. For the block to be confirmed, a crypto miner must generate a target hash that’s less than or equal to that of the block.
Below are some of the notable cryptocurrencies that use proof of work:
1. Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency since it launched in 2009. It introduced the concept of proof of work in cryptocurrency, which would later be adopted by many future coins.
2. Litecoin (CRYPTO:LTC) is one of the earliest altcoins, or alternatives to Bitcoin. Launched in 2011, it was based on Bitcoin’s code and offers improved transaction speeds.
3. Dogecoin (CRYPTO:DOGE) is a cryptocurrency that launched in 2013 and is based on the Doge meme.
What Blockchains are best for NFTs?
This article provide a list of the best NFT-focused blockchains on the market. This should give you an indepth and a good idea of which blockchains could see increased usage, following the expected growth of the NFT market in the coming years.
More than 90% of all digital assets have been created as ERC-721 tokens on the Ethereum network, including some of the most popular ones like Axie Infinity. Although this has come with some difficulties and set backs. Over the years it has been saturated and transaction fees have gone through the roof.
Tezos is one of the first functional smart contract proof-of-stake blockchains, providing a stable and scalable network since early 2018 after its development in 2014. Thanks to the low transaction fees and high speeds it provides, Tezos is gaining traction in the NFT ecosystem.
The platform supports a dynamically upgradable protocol and modular software clients that enable it to adapt to new users. It has also developed tools to help automate the process of weaving NFTs into enterprise supply chains.
Other platforms include Cardano and Polygon.
Which Blockchain are NFTs on?
NFTs which is also known as Nonfungible Token is on this Blockchain Platforms:
How to detect Rug pull crypto projects
As with anything in crypto, crypto projects have become popular enough and they are being used by scammers to steal from their users.
What goes behind the scenes in a cryptocurrency token that has been offered to new investors?
For example, Uniswap is no different.
When a market is created on Uniswap, the liquidity provider also known as the LP deposits an equal value of two tokens to create a pair. The depositor receives a pool token in return with an ERC20 token representing their stake in the pool. Now the pool token may be redeemed at any time for an equal value amount of both tokens based on the value at the time of redemption.
Scammers would create and promote a new token and provide a large amount of liquidity to the parent, simply tricking buyers into thinking the token has a healthy market and possible future. Now once enough people force buy into the token, the scammers would redeem all the liquidity tokens and receive all the Ethereum from the pull.
I know you are already curious, we are going to answer the questions below:
- What is crypto Rug pull?
- How does crypto Rug pull work?
- 3 main ways a crypto Rug pull happens
- How to detect incoming Rug pull crypto projects?
What is crypto Rug pull?
A crypto Rug pull is a malicious operation in the cryptocurrency industry where a cryptocurrency developer abandons a project and takes the investor’s money away. A crypto Rug pull typically occurs in decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystems, especially decentralized exchanges (DEX). A malicious individual creates a token that he lists on a DEX and pairs it with major cryptocurrencies like Ethereum.
Let’s say you are a new investor and you take your deposit to me and decided to go for the newest and hardest cryptocurrency out there without knowing too much of the crypto sphere, you are following what you see on social media and buy a low-marketcap cheap token, you see your initial investment jump from 2x to 3x and then you see an extra 10x but when you check the net morning, the price has droped to almost zero.
A Rug pull happens anytime a developer of a token runs away with the investors’ funds.
How does crypto Rug pull work?
A rug pull is a malicious scheme in which crypto developers create a worthless token and list it on a decentralized exchange. Here the new token is traded within a liquidity pool against an established token such as Eve.
To attract investors into the liquidity pool, the scammers promote the project on social media, promising high returns. As more and more investors put their Eth in the liquidity pool, the price of the new token increases.
At a certain point the scammers pull the rug they drain the pool of all the Eth and disappear with the funds. that immediately crashes the price of the new token, leaving all investors holding the worthless backs.
3 main ways a crypto Rug pull happens
There are three main ways crypto Rugpulls happen;
1. Yanking liquidity:
Whenever a developer creates a new token they must create a way for new investors to trade that token, and to do so they put a portion of some valuable tokens and a portion of their newly-minted worthless token, both of these go into a trading pool. This allows the new investors to give them valuable tokens to receive the developer’s newly-minted token.
However, as time goes on and as more investors invest, the price of the developer’s token increases, the developer can rug pull the token by pulling out their initial liquidity, by doing this; the investors don’t get back the initial amount of worthless token and the valuable tokens that they originally put in due to how automated market makers work.
After they yank out the liquidity, they will essentially have lots more of the valuable tokens than they started with and all the investors will not be able to trade.
2. Developer selling their shares
The second form of rug pulling can happen by developers selling their shares. So essentially, they created a worthless token, anyone can create a worthless token, a token has value if it does something or if other people think it has value. A developer might convince a large majority of people that their token has a promise, for e.g they might say they have a new platform that is launching soon and when it does it will be the next big blockchain something.
When they get a lot of investors to buy their tokens, they sell all their tokens they gave themselves during the token development.
3. Inability to sell
This is the craziest of the three, developers can add some codes to their token that will literally not allow users to sell but can only buy. Since everyone is buying the price will go up and once the price is up, the developer rugs the project.
How to detect incoming Rug pull crypto projects?
1. Check the team’s background and social media.
find out information about the tokens development team. If the developers are anonymous, it’s already a red flag if the team’s information is available you should check how solid the reputation and background are.
It’s really about measuring the trustworthiness of the team; are they anonymous? Who are they? Do they have a good background in the crypto industry?
You often see websites where they just take some random LinkedIn photos and created a fake team. Many of those had been exposed.
Check the project’s social media and telegram chats. This helps to understand how genuine the enthusiasm around the token seems and how authentic the community involved is. figure out how people are acting in there. Does it look like they’re talking to each other or it’s a lot of people talking? Or are people allowed to bring up topics that are not only promoting the token?
When anyone ask any kind of hard question, if the individual get banned, muted or deleted, it’s probably a scam.
2. Project audition
A legitimate project should undergo an auditing process by a reliable third party service. If it wasn’t, then you should be cautious. It means the code may contain bugs that could be exploited to steal users funds.
Unfortunately, audits are usually expensive, and few projects can afford them. And even if the project was audited, make sure you read the actual audit.
3. Test your ability to sell
Sometimes fraudulent projects contain hidden code that prevents people from withdrawing their funds from the liquidity pool. That is why you shouldn’t invest a large amount of money into a project or coin until you know for sure if and when you would be able to sell.
4. Check the token distribution and concentration
If a large amount of the tokens are concentrated in the hands of a few people, that is a red flag. It means that a bunch of whales could potentially dump their bags and crush the tokens price. You can easily check the tokens concentration by using a block explorer such as Ether scan or BSC scan.
5. Liquidity locking:
Another important thing to look for is whether the liquidity has a time lock on it.
A time lock is a security mechanism that prevents developers from removing liquidity from the pull and make away with investor’s funds. As long as most of the liquidity is locked, 95 to 100% is locked then there cannot be a rug pull.
6. Check independent auditing websites
Platforms such as token sniffer Rug Doc and BS check are run by experts who bought Defi tokens. They break down most of the metrics we mentioned here so far, and the rate the tokens according to risk levels. Also, there are telegram communities where you can ask about a specific project.
Identifying a project as a rug pull is not straightforward in the unruly Defi space the border between a fraudulent project and the latest meme coin can be very subtle.
Sometimes it all comes down to your own goals and appetite for risk. If you’re looking for solid legit projects with real use cases, then the indications we have given you are going to be valuable. But if you’re looking for quick gains and decide to ignore this advice, go in at your own risk, no matter how safe it is people are still going to go into unsafe things because the unsafe things are going to be the ones that are more likely to return the biggest returns quickly.
Now since you’ve learned how to spot/detect crypto Rugpull projects, why not check: How to start your crypto journey as a beginner
How to reduce Cryptocurrency Risks and Protect your Profits
Interested in making money with cryptocurrencies but worried about its volatility? Well, you should know what you need to know.
Cryptocurrencies are widely known for their high volatility, with Bitcoin hitting a high of $68,000 in November 2021, but drops to $21,589.98 in August 2022. Experts say blockchain networks will take hold, even if they won’t replace traditional currencies in the near future.
Cryptocurrency volatility and price fluctuations appear to be very high, but there is no precise basis for fluctuations. Unlike the relatively safe financial markets, crypto markets are not backed by financial institutions or governments, as they are backed by regulatory bodies that constantly oversee the safety and interests of investors.
What are the risks associated with cryptocurrencies?
- High Volatility: The volatility of the crypto markets is extremely high. Price fluctuations are very large. Furthermore, fluctuations and volatility cannot be accurately accounted for. Due to the volatile nature of cryptocurrencies, people are reluctant to invest in them.
- Irreversible Transactions: Transactions occur within minutes. Once a transaction is made, it cannot be reversed unless the other party agrees to do the same. Because the identity is anonymous, the risk of irreversibility is very high.
- Unregulated: Unlike relatively secure financial markets, cryptocurrencies are not backed by financial institutions or governments as they are backed by regulators who are constantly monitoring the safety and interests of investors.
- Highly Vulnerable to Hacking and Cyber Fraud: The growing popularity of cryptocurrencies has attracted the attention of many hackers and scammers
Although crypto is highly encrypted, it is still vulnerable to hackers looking for ways to commit fraud that can be avoided with the help of cryptocurrency risk management.
Why is risk management important?
Here’s a simple example to further back it up. Let’s say you want to invest in cryptocurrencies and have bought Ripple, a relatively strong and stable project for your total deposits. 50% drop and drop. This is more than just speculation, but a look at Ripple’s chart shows a series of ups and downs.
In summary, you can lose half of your deposit by performing only one trade.
The key here is that if you act intuitively without a risk management strategy, you will definitely lose money.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some tips on how to mitigate these risks when investing in a platform:
– Do extensive research
Cryptocurrency platforms contain thousands of digital coins. You may be familiar with the most popular ones like Bitcoin, Ethereum and ALTCOIN. Before investing in cryptocurrencies, you should do thorough research before investing any asset. Choose a suitable project that can bring you good profits.
Be sure to read the whitepaper to understand their vision, roadmap and tokennomics before diving deep into investing. This is very important. This will help you see if the plans of the company you want to invest in match yours. Remember that your research is very different from other people’s research.
Paying attention to detail and spending valuable time reading and understanding digital currencies is a sure way to avoid risk in the long run. Doing nothing may cost you fortune, avoid it.
– Define the ENTRY-EXIT Strategy
The ENTRY-EXIT strategy is an important part of trading that cannot be ignored.
A good entry is the cake on a profitable trade, but when exiting, consider your losses as well as your gains. Planning for exit points is an important part of a sound risk management strategy. Everything in crypto comes with risks and bonuses. Instead of blindly following trends, you should choose the best.
Hedging refers to an investment strategy in which you place a primary trade in the direction you expect the market to go and a secondary trade in the opposite direction.
It protects you from losses if the value of an asset rises or falls. Cryptocurrency investors can hedge their investments by going short or long in the futures market. Participate in a long-term strategy where you agree to buy cryptocurrencies at today’s price at a given time in the future in the hope that they will appreciate in value. In contrast, short selling is a strategy in which you agree to sell your cryptocurrency at today’s price at a given time in the future if you think the value of the cryptocurrency will fall.
In some cases, leveraged trading can be used as a hedging tool. For example, if the price starts to fall after buying Bitcoin, you have the opportunity to open a short position with a small shoulder and recoup your losses.
Leverage is a tool that should be used in the right places.
– Guessing the Size of Trades
Traders are often guided by emotion rather than logic or serious calculations. There is even a special term to describe this phenomenon. It’s called FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out.
Inspired by the hype, novice traders act recklessly and invest 30-40% of their deposits in trading. Failed trades can lead to serious losses. So don’t forget the 6% and 2% rules.
The latter states that a trader should open positions at no more than 2% of total deposits. Some even recommend investing less than 1% of your deposit. Using this strategy you will never run out of your entire deposit. The 6% rule states that if you keep losing money trading cryptocurrencies and are unable to stop a series of failed transactions when you lose more than 6% of your deposit, you should stop trading. In this case, it is recommended to take a break from trading for 1.5-2 weeks to recover mentally and stop making hasty decisions.
This principle is closely related to the capital loss limit. When entering a position, the total risk of all orders should not exceed 25%.
This ensures that at least 75% of the deposit remains even if all transactions prove unprofitable.
– Determining Transaction Profitability
Note that not all transactions are profitable. Even professional traders lose money. Losing is part of the deal and you have to accept it.
The most important thing to consider is the win/loss ratio
Ideally, it should be 3:1 or at least 2:1.
How to measure your profit/loss ratio with a simple process:
- Evaluate your Stop Loss (SL) and Profit Target (PT) potential price levels.
- Measures the distance between entry and stop loss (SL). This Is Your Potential Risk
- Measures the distance between your entry and your profit target (PT). This is your “potential reward”.
- Divided into two: Potential Reward / Potential Risk
- Don’t invest in digital assets just because others do
You might even feel like you’re missing out on a big money opportunity, but it’s important not to give in to pressure just because someone else is investing. Take the time to do your research and only invest if it makes sense. It’s not the right approach to say that because other people invest, so should you.
All things have risks and benefits. Instead of blindly following trends, do your research and then choose what works best for you. When investing, be sure to review the various risk management techniques of crypto trading to avoid future mishaps.
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