CRYPTO SCAMS AND TOP TIPS TO STAY SAFE

Mortals, if you ever read a news article about cryptocurrencies or NFTs, it was most likely about a successful scam or a fraudulent project that finally crashed. Scams, of course, are not specific to the crypto world, as cons and frauds are rampant on the internet to this day. The difference between traditional and crypto scams is perhaps the lack of awareness in the newer market.

With this article, we wish to inform you about the most common types of fraud encountered in the crypto world and how to identify and hopefully avoid them.

Remember: Gods Unchained employees will never DM or approach you first.

Some Background Information

Before we get to the different crypto scams, there’s an important fact to highlight. While the cons may be labelled “crypto,” the overwhelming majority are the same old tricks used in the past. With the exception of perhaps one method, all the others rely on 2 simple actions:

  • Obtaining your private information to access your digital wallet/account.
  • Trick you into sending them or investing funds into their fraudulent projects.

Though the scams haven’t changed much, the market indeed has. Like a double-edged sword, the freedom provided by cryptocurrencies and decentralized technologies has also removed the governing bodies that could keep the scams under control.

Let’s take as an example a simple situation that some of us have been in. A stolen credit card. If you lost a credit card and someone started making purchases, a simple call to the bank can resolve your situation. However, if a scammer obtains your crypto wallet information, you will lose every digital asset in that wallet. 

Like the wild west, users need to take their safety into their own hands. Every user, trader, and collector must educate themselves in identifying and stopping scams. Collectively it is possible to heavily decrease or even eliminate the likelihood of someone getting defrauded. Now, let’s look at some widespread scams and how to identify them.

Business Opportunity Scams

The phrase “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” is actually a very reliable way to recognize this scam. The scammers will try to persuade you to invest in their project, promising unbelievably high returns. The fraud may last from weeks to months. The only certainty is that you will not see any returns. 

These frauds can disguise themselves as any business opportunity and may request varying investment amounts. Besides the unusually high return promises, another good indicator of this scam can be the lacklustre company or founder’s background. Of course, scammers do not want to reveal their real identities, so with some research, you can most likely distinguish a real opportunity from a scam.

Phishing Scams

Another old reliable scam. Phishing scams usually involve the various ways criminals try to get their hands on your private information, like crypto wallet keys or credit card information. From emails from seemingly legitimate individuals to malicious links from popups and messages, phishing scams aim to steal your private data. 

Dealing with these can be a bit tricky. Definitely do not click on links sent by random people or bots. If you receive promotional emails, try to look for misspellings or inconsistencies. And as a rule of thumb, don’t share your credentials with anyone. And I do mean anyone.

Impostor Scams

You have probably heard of a couple of famous cases of Impostor scams. People posing as famous celebrities organizing giveaways or just promising to double whatever amount of crypto you send them. One of the easier frauds to recognize, not much thought has been put into these. These scammers prey on the most vulnerable and gullible people on different social media platforms. One notable case of fraud has been Elon Musk impersonators stealing nearly $2 million from users by promising to send back triple the investment after some time. 

Avoiding these is pretty simple. No respectable celebrity or influential person will be sending free crypto to people. Again, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

 Clipboard Hacking

Let’s get to more technical scams. Clipboard hacks affect mobile and desktop devices and are malicious programs stealing whatever text you copy. The data is sent to scammers and later used to access your accounts. You may say that you don’t copy and paste any of your passwords and know them by heart. Well, crypto wallet recovery phrases are pretty much impossible to remember. Up to 80 characters long, you are definitely going to save them on one of your devices. Anyway, how do we deal with clipboard hacks? 

There are 2 possible ways:

  1. Prevention – Avoid downloading any suspicious programs or files. Preventing the hack from getting into your devices in the first place is the best course of action.
  2. Removal – If you suspect something is afoot and have accidentally downloaded a suspicious file, run an antivirus scan as soon as possible. Investing in a quality antivirus can also be of some use.

 Sweeping

Remember when we mentioned scams made explicitly for crypto? Well, this is it. Sweepers are malicious programs that monitor blockchain transactions. If deployed in a wallet, it will try to reroute transactions to the scammer’s account. Typically, the scammer needs the wallet security code to deploy the sweeper in the first place, meaning that if there is a sweeper in your wallet, your personal data has already been compromised. 

Dealing with sweepers is not easy; lucky for us, they are very rare. The best way is to prevent its initial intrusion into your wallet. Keep your information safe, and do not hand out your passwords to anyone.

General Tips To Avoid Getting Scammed

While some tips and pieces of advice may be scam specific, you can generally avoid most scams by following these simple tips:

  • Stick to reputable marketplaces like ImmutableX while trading Gods Unchained cards. Avoid niche or unknown websites.
  • Do not validate or confirm your wallet on unfamiliar websites. That’s a fast way to lose all your assets.
  • Consider investing in a decent Antivirus Program. Not a foolproof method, but it can notify you of unwanted or untrusted programs. 
  • Last, keep a healthy amount of scepticism when dealing with social media giveaways, promotions and the likes. Gods Unchained rarely runs giveaways and it will only be from our official handles – TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Unfortunately, scams are not going to go away soon. The best course of action we can take as a community is to educate every user about the dangers of scamming and help identify fraud whenever we can. If you have any questions, feel free to join our Discord, our active community is always ready to help. Stay safe out there, Mortal!

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