Contributor Columns on Information Technology and Security
If you are thinking of jumping onto the Bitcoin bandwagon, or any type of cryptocurrency, you have to make sure that you are watching out for scams. There are a ton of them out there, including the following:
Fake Bitcoin Exchanges
You have to use a Bitcoin exchange if you want to buy or sell Bitcoins, but not all of them are legitimate. Instead, many of them are created for the sole purpose of taking people’s money. Only use well-known exchanges.
Bitcoins are not exempt from Ponzi schemes, and you have to look out for these. These are like pyramid schemes, and you definitely don’t want to get caught up with this, as you will certainly lose your money.
You have certainly heard of Bitcoin, but there are other cryptocurrencies on the market, too, as alternatives to Bitcoin. However, there are also fake ones. For instance, one of these, My Big Coin, was fake, yet the people behind it managed to take more than $6 million from customers.
Bitcoin scammers also rely on old school, well-known scams to trick people. They might, for instance, send emails pretending to be the IRS or even having some type of Bitcoin sale. People fall for these scams every day. If it seems weird, like the IRS emailing about Bitcoin, it is most definitely a scam.
Malware is another associated scam with Bitcoin. Most, or all wallets are connected online, scammers can use malware to access the account and take your money. Malware can get on your computer in a number of ways, including from websites, social media sites, and even through email.
We live in an era where online news is the most popular method to get news, but it’s also very easy to create news stories that seem totally legitimate, yet they are absolutely fake. Basically, scammers create these stories to bait victims, so always think before you start clicking.
These Bitcoin scammers also use phishing scams to try to get money from people who are trying to buy and sell Bitcoin. These scams are often done by clicking malicious links.
It doesn’t matter if you join the Bitcoin craze or not, you can also use these tips to keep yourself safe from other scams. Here’s some final tips:
Robert Siciliano is a Security and Identity Theft Expert. He is the founder of Safr.me a cybersecurity speaking and consulting firm based in Massachussets. See him discussing internet and wireless security on Good Morning America.