When money is involved scams always follow. The same applies to cryptocurrencies.
Wormhole, a cryptocurrency exchange platform, suffered a loss of $320 million in February 2022 as a result of a cyber-attack. In addition to this attack, a report from the Federal Trade Commission claims that cryptocurrency scammers will have taken over $1 billion by 2021.
What Are Crypto Scams?
Crypto scams are fraudulent schemes that involve the use of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others. These scams can take many forms and can target individuals or businesses.
Some common types of crypto scams include:
1. Ponzi schemes
Ponzi schemes are fraudulent investment schemes in which returns are paid to earlier investors using the investments of more recent investors. In the context of cryptocurrencies, a Ponzi scheme might involve a scammer promising high returns on an investment in a new cryptocurrency or ICO, but actually using the funds from new investors to pay off earlier investors. The scheme collapses when there are not enough new investors to sustain it, and the scammer disappears with the remaining funds.
2. Phishing scams
Phishing scams are attempts to steal personal information, such as login credentials or credit card numbers, by disguising oneself as a legitimate entity in an electronic communication. In the context of cryptocurrencies, a phishing scam might involve sending an email or text message that appears to be from a legitimate cryptocurrency exchange or wallet but is actually from a scammer. The message might ask the recipient to click on a link and enter their login information, or it might contain a malicious attachment that installs malware on the recipient’s computer.
3. ICO scams
Fake ICOs are fraudulent fundraising campaigns that purport to be for a new cryptocurrency or blockchain-based project but are actually just a way for the scammer to steal money from investors. These scams might involve creating a fake website and whitepaper and promoting the ICO through social media or online marketing. When investors contribute money to the ICO, the scammer takes the funds and disappears, leaving the investors with nothing.
4. Investment scams
These scams involve promising high returns on an investment in a cryptocurrency or other asset, but actually using the funds to enrich the scammer rather than making any real investments.
5. Pyramid schemes
These scams involve recruiting new members to join the scheme, with each member required to recruit additional members in order to earn a commission. The scheme collapses when there need to be more new members to sustain it.
6. Pump and dump schemes
These scams involve artificially inflating the price of a cryptocurrency by promoting it heavily, and then “dumping” the cryptocurrency by selling it off at the artificially inflated price. This can lead to significant losses for investors who buy in at an inflated price.
7. Malware scams
These scams involve installing malware on a victim’s computer, which can be used to steal login credentials or other personal information, or to mine cryptocurrencies without the victim’s knowledge.
8. Rug pull scams
Investment fraudsters “hype” a new company, NFT, or cryptocurrency to lure funding into rig bridge schemes. Scam artists steal money and then disappear with it. This investment software refuses to sell bitcoins after buying them, leaving investors with a worthless investment.
9. Romance scams
Cryptocurrency scams are not uncommon on dating apps. These cheating usually involve long-distance, online-only relationships, and involve trust-building processes that take time on both sides. One party gradually begins to persuade the other party to accept or pay payments in specific cryptocurrencies. Once they have the money, the con artist leaves.
Scams in crypto in 2022
Below you will find the Biggest Crypto Scams Of 2022:
In November 2022, online trading exchange and platform FTX filed for bankruptcy after an investigation found that CEO Sam Bankman-Fried had embezzled customer funds. A total of $1 to $2 billion in consumer cash has reportedly been lost.
2. Axie Infinity’s Ronin Network
In March 2022, $615 million in USDC and Ethereum was stolen.
3. Wormhole crypto bridge
A hacker stole $320 million in Ethereum in February 2022.
4. JuicyFields.io scam
As of July 2022, investors had lost $273 million in cryptocurrencies.
5. Unique-Exchange.co/PARAIBA world scam
As of July 2022, $267 million had been earned from this fraud.
6. Nomad cross-chain bridge attack
In August 2022, hackers stole $190 million in bitcoin.
7. Beanstalk DeFi project
The sudden debt onslaught in April 2022 caused a loss of $182 million.
8. Wintermute hack
In September 2022, $160 million was lost following an attack on DeFi operations.
9. Elrond blockchain exchange hack
In June 2022, EGLD tokens worth $113 million were stolen by hackers.
10. The OmegaPro world scam
As of July 2022, $106 million had been earned from this fraud.
11. Harmony Horizon Bridge hack
In June 2022, hackers took advantage of a loophole and stole $100 million.
12. Mango Market crypto trading platform
In October 2022, the cost of a quick loan attack was $100 million.
How to Avoid Crypto Scams?
There are several ways you can avoid cryptocurrency scams:
Research the company or individual you are considering buying from or investing in. Look for red flags such as unverifiable or incomplete information on their website, unrealistic or exaggerated claims, and a lack of transparency about their business practices.
Use reputable sources for buying and selling cryptocurrencies. Consider using established exchanges that have a good reputation and follow regulatory guidelines.
Be cautious of unsolicited offers, particularly those that promise high returns with little or no risk. These types of offers are often too good to be true and maybe a scam.
Be wary of phishing attacks, which are fraudulent attempts to obtain sensitive information such as login credentials or financial information.
Keep your personal information and login credentials private. Do not share your private keys or login information with anyone, as this could allow them to access your cryptocurrency accounts.
Use strong and unique passwords for each of your accounts and enable two-factor authentication when available. This can help protect your accounts from being compromised.