Don’t Lose Your Money to a Bitcoin Scammer

Bitcoins are on the rise again passing $1,300 and closing in on their all-time high. Of course this sort of news gets people excited and wondering how they can cash in on such apparently easy money. After all, bitcoins have risen from just over $200 each in 2015. What is there to lose in investing in such a golden opportunity? First of all bitcoins were $900 at the start of 2014 before falling to the $200 range so this is not a sure thing. A greater problem though is that this unregulated arena is a scammer’s paradise. Don’t lose your money to a bitcoin scammer. Here is some insight on how to spot a bitcoin scam courtesy of Forbes.

Whenever something gets hot, the only guarantee is that scamsters will lock onto it like a heat-seeking missile. The virtual currency bitcoin is no exception.

For those living off the grid, bitcoin is a digital currency. Its value, not backed by any government or central bank, is determined by software that few people truly understand.

Since few know how bitcoin really works, there have been endless opportunities for chicanery. Social media has provided fertile ground for numerous frauds.

Forbes quotes ZeroFox, a digital risk monitoring company about the kinds of bitcoin scams. Here are the four categories.

Fake Bitcoin wallets hiding malware downloads

There are no bitcoins involved here. This is simply a trick to get you to click on a link thinking it has to do with bitcoins. You may not lose any money but your computer or hand held device software will be messed up.

Bitcoin phishing impersonators

Bitcoin impersonators offer a search service that requires your private bitcoin key. Whatever service they are offering does not happen. They simply use your bitcoin key to take money out of your wallet (bitcoin account).

Bitcoin Flipping Scams

This scam really does involve using bitcoins but if it seems too good to be true it probably is too good to be true. You are promised an immediate profit, double your money or something similar, for paying a startup fee but they simply take your bitcoins and you never hear from them again. This sort of scam works because with social media the scammers can reach thousands and thousands of people until someone falls for their scam.

Bitcoin Pyramid Schemes

This sort of scam is as old as the hills or perhaps as old as the pyramids. You are enticed into the scheme by the promise of profits for signing up new members. And for a while you see profits as reported by the scammer. But when you want your money either sooner or later you will find that the scammer is gone, with everyone’s bitcoins.

The Malevolent Power of Social Media

ZeroFox reports that after the value of a bitcoin recently passed that of an ounce of gold they identified 3,618 Bitcoin scam URLs. On the average these URLs are shared more than 5,000 times each. If you don’t want to lose your money to a bitcoin scammer avoid “too good to be true” bitcoin-related offers, all pyramid schemes, sharing your bitcoin key and downloading even vaguely suspicious links.