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Methods of scams in crypto you should be aware of and how to avoid them

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Scam is an ongoing problem especially when new people are coming into crypto space. In this article we are going through common scams that have cost unsuspecting individuals millions of dollars.

Why do people fall for crypto scams?

There are mainly two reasons why people fall into these scams:

  1. People who are new to crypto are not familiar with how things run and how to distinguish fake and real accounts/news.
  2. Second reason is that people are inattentive, and they are not checking all the information themselves. The best way to defend against scams is to simply know about them.

Fake accounts

Scammer creates a bot that seems official or tries to impersonate a project specifically a team member. Then scammers DM you from that fake account in hopes of scamming you in some way. One of the most common scams is to make you feel chosen. They DM you that “you have been chosen” or “you have been whitelisted”.

Scammers are saying that they are a project’s team member to make their scam message look trustful. They often change their username and a profile picture to impersonate a real team member on Discord or Telegram.  To check you can check the actual username in the official resource and look if it matches the information of the impersonated team member. For example, they can copy the real username but change one letter in it or add one letter so that it looks like a real team member.

Fake websites

Whenever you discover a new project, or you browse using a new device or a computer you can easily open a scam website. Some scammers will create a website that is an exact copy of a specific crypto project that you actually want to invest in, and they'll do it with the same user interface and the same information on it. The only thing different from this fake website to the real one is two things.

  1. The domain. Since scammers can't use the same domain as a real website, they will create a new one that is almost the same as the real one. They change little details, so people don't realize they're on the wrong website.
  2. Smart contracts. Scammers could change the smart contracts code so that if you are interacting with it they could get access to your funds in your wallet leading you to losing all your money. It's important to only connect to applications that you trust personally. For example, to make sure you are using the right links is to go to trusted websites like CoinGecko or CoinMarketCap. You can also check the official project's Twitter account to find the right links.

Scam in giveaways

Recently, hackers duplicated Elon Musk's Twitter account and posted a link directing his followers to his supposed Bitcoin wallet. They then offered to double anyone's bitcoin deposit sent to the wallet. Dozens of Musk's followers eagerly jumped at the opportunity, and they began sending their Bitcoin without question.

But by the time they realized it was a scam they had lost everything from their investment funds. One man in particular suffered the biggest financial loss of his life. He told the press that he had lost more than half a million dollars worth of Bitcoin. The trick the scammers do is they put a face of a famous person in front of the giveaways, making it look official.  

So, people fall in it and send some amount of cryptocurrency to a certain wallet and never receive any back. Remember, no true giveaway will ever ask you to send cryptocurrency to their wallet, a real giveaway will ask you for your wallet address.

Sending you a seed phrase or private key with money in it

Someone contacts you and says something about helping them or giving access to their wallet to you.

After that message they will actually send you a real seed phrase to an actual account with actual money in it. But here's the trick: to get the funds out you must first have some Ethereum in the account to pay the gas fee.

You think ‘I’ll just send some money to cover fees to this account’. To do that you have to deposit around 20 dollars’ worth of Ethereum so you can actually transact the money out of the account. But you deposit 20 dollars and then immediately the scammer sends the money to their account profiting 20 dollars.

Scammers do it really fast within several seconds. They have a computer running a program that checks if there's funds in that account and then automatically sends it to their Ethereum account. There is absolutely no way for you to get funds that were in that account. If someone gives you their seed phrase and the wallet has money in it - do not deposit money for any reason. Whatever money you deposit in there consider gone.

Conclusion

You must be very careful with scams. Once you send your funds somewhere – this is on you. You are now responsible for what you own and do. So, if you send your money out you can’t ask Coinbase or Binance for your money back because you made a mistake. Invest in quality companies and projects, do your own research.

About Pontem

Pontem is a blockchain product studio building foundational dApps for and in partnership with Aptos. Pontem’s offerings include Pontem Wallet, Liquidswap DEX (the first AMM for Aptos), an EVM implementation for migrating Solidity dApps to Aptos, and other infrastructure for this scalable and fast layer one blockchain.

Pontem: beware of scams

Pontem token has not been launched yet. Please be aware of scams! If you see anyone DM you about ‘IDO’ of Pontem tokens or offering you to buy them on a DEX, this is a scam. If you receive a message from someone on the team member of Pontem, don't forget to compare the actual username in the official resource.

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