Published há 3 anos • 4 minute read

Crypto Scams: What to look out for

Crypto scams are turning into a daily reality. You often hear about someone, somewhere who got hacked or duped or scammed.

When we hear about so many people that fall for these crypto scams over and over, you understand that the “trend” is still going on. Why aren’t people learning their lesson?

The thing is that cryptocurrency scams come in many shapes and sizes. Some are very easy to spot. For example, those that tell you to give them funds and they’ll make you 100% in a few days. Those are indeed very easy to spot. But, people still fall for them.

Let’s look at the hard ones though, the ones that are actually well hidden and maintained, and how you can still discover them.

Ponzi schemes – the most common form of crypto scams

Ponzi schemes are some of the most common crypto scams in the USA and other developed countries.

The reason why they’re so popular in developed countries is that the scammers have the option to make much more money before they’ve been discovered that they could ever hope for in a developing country.

For example, a recent Ponzi scheme was discovered in South Africa making $135,000 a single day, and a whole town was investing with them. A Ponzi scheme like this in the US would likely have made the company at least $1 million every day.


The easiest way of telling that it’s a Ponzi scheme is to look at the payout deadlines. If the company is promising 100% increases or even more during one month’s time, it’s because they’re going to give you the profits they got from other investors, rather than their attempts at trading those funds.

A short deadline is a dead giveaway and should let you know to stay away. Sure you may think that you’re the first wave of the crypto scam and may actually get paid, but there’s never a guarantee.

The fake hack

The fake hack is when a crypto exchange announces that they’ve been hacked and millions of user funds have been stolen from their hot wallets.

In most cases, the exchange would have a refund policy should something as this happen. You would be surprised, however, how few of them that actually have such policies.

One such example is when Mt.Gox got hacked back in the day and lost around 850,000 BTC, making it one of the worst crypto scams out there. People are still saying that it was a setup and that the ones behind the hack were the founders themselves.

In order to avoid scams like these, make sure to check if the company has a refund policy for cases like these, and who will be enforcing those policies. It’s usually the regulator of the country they are located in. Once you find out the country, you can double check with the regulator that they will indeed enforce the law.

Fake bots

Fake bots are another method from scammers. These scams use what we know as trading software. It’s basically an algorithm that traders set up and let it do its thing while they relax and not think about it.

The scammers have manipulated this sector of the industry as well, by simulating a deposit. For example, whenever a trader deposits funds on their trading software, the scammers actually display it on their accounts.

The trick is that the funds displayed aren’t the funds that were deposited. The scammers basically open a DEMO account for the victim and make them believe that they’re generating real income. In reality, they’re simply a part of the crypto software scam.

By the time the victims figure out they’ve been scammed, the real funds that were deposited are simply stolen by the scammers. Never to be seen again.

Celebrities in crypto scams

Celebrities are also another popular method for scammers. What they do is that they simply take a local celebrity and use their name and appearance in their marketing campaigns. They then claim that the person is their loyal customer and that he/she endorses them.

This is what happened recently when the crown prince of the UAE was used in a crypto Ponzi scheme promotion. The scammers also used Bill Gates as a “brand ambassador”.

Needless to say, whenever you find somebody promoting their product based on the recommendations of a celebrity, it’s definitely a candidate for the top crypto scams list. Alternatively, the celebrity was paid to say whatever they said.

Even if there’s a temptation on not missing out (FOMO), always try to fight it.


ICO and STO scams used to be very common in 2017 and 2018, in fact almost 80% of them turned out to be fraudulent and designed to steal people’s investments.

The only way to avoid these types of scams is to do some quality research on the company. You can read about their team, where they’re located, who they are and what they’re doing.

In most cases, the scammers don’t even try to hide that they’re a scam. You can easily find out if you dedicate some time to the research.

IEOs are much safer because they need to be verified by a trustworthy exchange.

Is that it?

There are always new methods that scammers find to defraud people of their investments. However, the ones mentioned above are the most common crypto scams for the time being.

Should you avoid the ones listed above, it will be much tougher for fraudulent hackers to make you one of their victims.


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