Friday, April 27, 2018

Top Tips For identifying Bitcoin Scams

At Luno, the number one priority is keeping customers’ Bitcoin safe and secure. Our engineering team lives and breathes this, day in and day out. And there is good reason for it. Our reputation depends on it. We aim to be the best and most secure way for customers to buy and store Bitcoin in Nigeria and anywhere else.
Identify Bitcoin scam

Unfortunately, Bitcoin is attractive to scammers for the same reason it’s attractive to you. It’s fast, it’s international, and it’s irreversible. Not surprisingly then, as Bitcoin usage has grown, so has the sophistication around Bitcoin fraud.

It’s important to remember that the same intuitive rules that apply to traditional money also apply to Bitcoin in Nigeria and other countries. For example, don’t store cash under your mattress as it might get stolen, or don’t trust your money with strangers as they could be fraudsters. The following are some of the most persistent Bitcoin scams.

BITCOIN PONZI, HYIP or MLM SCHEMES

These schemes attract people with promises of low or no subscription fees and promises of sky-high returns on their deposits. They often rely on existing investors signing up new ones, which is the only source of revenue or growth.

As with all Ponzi schemes, early investors get paid with the money from later investors. Inevitably when new investors stop signing up and depositing, the scheme collapses, since no more funds can be paid out.

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

👉 Promises of very high returns/interest

👉 Guarantees that you “can’t lose money”

👉 Little verifiable information on company and owners

👉 Difficulties in withdrawing your funds

👉 Social signup links with high bonuses

👉 Sense of urgency to “invest now”

BITCOIN WALLET AND EXCHANGE SCAMS

There are some websites claiming to be wallets meant to store Bitcoin. Others claim to be exchanges, where one can trade Bitcoin. Others claim to do both, but many of these are in fact scam sites.

They get you to sign up and deposit Bitcoin or local currency for a while to build trust and then after a while make off with the money.

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

👉 Only deal with reputable, registered companies like Luno, etc

👉 Make sure you can verify the identity of the employees/owners

👉 See if they are mentioned in reputable local or international news publications

👉 Treat anonymous and new exchanges, apps and browser extensions with caution

LIST OF KNOWN BITCOIN SCAMS

Since it is very easy to set up a scam website, it is impossible to always have an up to date list of scams. You should do your own research and learn to look for suspicious schemes.

Thankfully the community is sharing information on suspected scams. Here are some threads hosting these discussions: :

👉 http://www.badbitcoin.org/thebadlist/

👉 http://bitcoinscammer.com/

IN SUMMARY

Bitcoin is very exciting and has tremendous potential to change the world, but make sure you understand the risks that go hand in hand with that.

READ: Google To Ban Crypto Ads.

If you are putting your money anywhere, it’s up to you to do your own research and investigation (Google and Reddit can take you far). And remember: if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. For more information on how to keep your Bitcoin in Nigeria and any other place safe, visit Luno

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