How to Prevent Yourself Being Conned by A Facebook Cryptocurrency/ICO Token Scam
Despite the security offered with decentralized currency, the crypto world creates another opportunity for hackers and scammers to dive into the pockets of consumers, putting them at risk.
One of the most susceptible places that individuals can experience these troubles is on social media, and specifically on Facebook – and especially if they are an ICO.
Even though the recent changes in policy prohibit the advertisements for cryptocurrency opportunities from being listed on the Facebook website, there are still many accounts that provide information.
These accounts take the trust that individuals have for crypto and use that trust for personal gain.
Some common ways that scammer accounts can trick consumers include:
- Posts that promise to earn more bitcoin by communicating with the user. These options often promise that there is a certain amount that the user is promised to earn and mimics a “get rich quick” type of scheme. Another potential risk of this type of communication is the ability that the scammer has to access both public and private information about the user after they have commented.
- “No scam.” Usually, if the poster has to say that their impressive results come with no scam, consumers should be weary of the scam. Some of these posts require the user to communicate with some personal information, like through an app or by linking a smartphone.
- Teaching how to earn bitcoin with guaranteed results. Like any investment, profiting with cryptocurrency is never guaranteed, and the promise of certain results is in violation of several acts concerning cryptocurrency, depending on the country of origin. As the value gets higher, the scam is much more likely.
- Posts that praise certain people/organizations for the results that they have received. This method is a sneaky way of convincing others that the poster has had results with what they have done. In reality, they are simply redirecting users to go through the same scam. Sometimes, the posts are shared knowingly, while some users have to agree to repost the advertisement to receive the reward.
- Screenshots instead of advertisements. Since Facebook no longer allows cryptocurrency platforms to run advertisements, some posters are getting creative. Other than posting an advertisement that violates Facebook’s terms of service, using a screenshot can show an invalid advertisement from an outside company.
- Free promises. In the crypto world, almost nothing is free. Even in an initial coin offering (ICO), the user is required to make a minimum purchase to have a bonus number of tokens awarded after the ICO ends. While some of these claims for bonuses are valid, using “free” to entice consumers to enter the platform is misleading.
- Personal posts. Legitimate crypto platforms make the original posts under their company name to advertise. This usually happens on their own page, where consumers can communicate directly with the platform to request more information. Real investments do not request any information outside of their website.
- Misspellings and improper grammar. Check the language and grammar used on the advertisement. Professional companies take the time to ensure that their spelling and grammar is accurate to maintain a semblance of competence in their brand. If the company cannot properly spell the simplest words, is that really the right place to spend money?
What Can You Do?
With all of these ways that consumers can be duped, it is important to know what to look for. Any crypto investment should be made exclusively through a platform that has been registered through the applicable entities in the country of origin.
Even though tokens are decentralized, every platform has to be approved and registered to the valid. Always research online to determine if the token symbol is real and search for the official website for the platform.
In addition to performing other research about the name and token, verify the digital wallet option and find out how the product can be traded.
Look for security features on the website, ensuring that the investment will not be lost. This can be difficult to find with startup options, but most new platforms are announced in the bitcoin or other crypto news websites to validate them and prepare investors.
Just like every other financial endeavor, cryptocurrency requires commitment to participate and to thrive. While there are bonuses, there is no free or “get rich quick” scheme, just like in the fiat investment world. Take the extra time to verify the new platform before getting involved, and these options could open new doors to financial stability.