Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency have become increasingly popular. More and more people are starting to use Bitcoin to make online transactions, which leads to the question: exactly how secure is Bitcoin?
Cryptocurrency is secured by cryptography, which means it is hard to counterfeit or double-spend, so there are benefits to Bitcoin transactions. However, like all forms of currency: it is easy for Bitcoin users to get scammed if they’re not careful.
Always know current scams
You should always use caution when exchanging any form of currency. Be aware of any new scams and double-checking sources. While there are some recurring scams out there, new scams are popping up all the time.
If you are currently using Bitcoin, watch out for current scams and know what steps to take to prevent losing money. Here are some of the most common scams.
Scam 1: Fake trading platforms/payment exchanges
One of the ways Bitcoin is exchanged and invested is through online trading platforms. Some scammers create fake platforms, pose as a legitimate agency, and then scam people out of their Bitcoin.
Fake payment exchanges are also common. People think they’re paying for a legitimate product or service, but they’re really sending their Bitcoin to a scammer.
Always research the platform
One of the best ways to prevent yourself from using a fake trading platform or payment exchange is to always double-check that the site is legit before sending Bitcoin.
For example, if you were considering using the platform Bitcoin Revolution, you might do a quick search for “bitcoin revolution scam?” and read several online reviews to determine that it isn’t a scam.
Scam 2: Transfer to con artist
Everyone knows about the scams where the IRS contacts you and demands your banking information. However, what people might not realize is that people are starting to attempt these same types of scams using Bitcoin.
Some scammers will think of various ways to scam people out of Bitcoin, contact them demanding payment, and then wait for the online transfer.
Always be skeptical
If anyone ever contacts you from a government agency demanding you pay them in Bitcoin, always be skeptical. Government agencies do not contact people by text, email, or social media. It is also usually easy to tell with a phone call that isn’t legitimate.
Before you send Bitcoin to someone, always make sure their reasoning is legit. You can always contact your bank if you need help.
Scam 3: Downloading malware
Malware isn’t anything new, but people are taking advantage of cryptocurrency mining by sending users fake links to mine Bitcoin — but the links actually download malware onto the computer or the cryptocurrency wallet.
Malware can wreak havoc on any computer or cryptocurrency wallet. Not only can it cause the product to stop working, but some types of malware will also steal cryptocurrency.
Always use anti-malware software
You should always have anti-virus and anti-malware installed on your computer and phone, especially if you’re using those devices to exchange money or cryptocurrency.
Be leary of free anti-malware software; it could download malware onto your device. If you’re considering free software, always make sure to read reviews from multiple sources to make sure it is legit.
Scam 4: Using fake cryptocurrency
Another common scam is that people will advertise that they’ve found the next great cryptocurrency and will encourage people to buy it now while the price is low.
Since cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin continues to increase in price, people often think purchasing the newest cryptocurrency will eventually allow them to earn money. However, sometimes these cryptocurrencies are fake, and people end up scammed.
Always make sure it is legit
Before mining or purchasing any type of cryptocurrency, do your research to make sure it is a legitimate form of cryptocurrency. Know what the common cryptocurrencies are. In addition to Bitcoin, you will hear references to Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin.
If someone tries to get you to purchase and exchange a type of cryptocurrency you’ve never heard of before, always be wary. You don’t want to purchase a fake cryptocurrency and then realize it is completely useless.
As Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies become more popular, more and more con artists are thinking of ways to scam people.
Fake software, fake transactions, fake cryptocurrencies, and malware are all common scams. Eventually, you’ll get to the point where you’ll be able to tell if it is a legit opportunity or not; but until then, always check multiple sources before moving forward.