Nine common crypto scams you need to be wary of

Dr Vin Menon
4 min readApr 29, 2023

Cryptocurrency has been the talk of the town in the post-Covid period, but unfortunately, where money is concerned, scams and thefts are not far behind. The decentralized nature of cryptocurrency makes it a target for financial frauds that seek to exploit vulnerabilities in the system.

Cryptocurrency differs from digital currency in that it uses blockchain technology for verification and does not rely on financial institutions for transactions. While this makes it more secure in some ways, it also makes crypto scams recovery harder. Once a transfer has been made, it is difficult, if not impossible, to reverse it.

Crypto scams often use traditional tactics to trick people into giving the scammers access to their cryptocurrency. To protect yourself from cryptocurrency scams, it is important to be vigilant and do your research. In this post, we discuss 9 common crypto scams you need to be aware of to keep your crypto funds safe!

Here are some of the most common cryptocurrency scams to be aware of:-

  1. Ponzi Schemes: Cryptocurrency scammers often use the Ponzi scheme model to lure in new investors. They promise high returns with little to no risk and pay older investors using funds from new investors. The scheme relies on continually targeting new investors to sustain itself since there are no legitimate investments involved.
  2. Fake Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs): Fake initial coin offerings (ICOs) are a type of cryptocurrency scam where scammers create a fake cryptocurrency and promote it as a legitimate investment opportunity. They use social media and other online channels to market the fake ICO to unsuspecting investors, often promising high returns on their investment. In some cases, the scammers may use fake endorsements from celebrities or industry experts to make their ICO appear more credible. They may also use fake whitepapers and other materials to create the illusion of a legitimate project.
  3. Fake Exchanges: Fake crypto exchanges are a type of cryptocurrency scam where scammers create a fake exchange platform that appears to be a legitimate place to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies. These fake exchanges are designed to trick users into depositing their funds, which are then stolen by the scammers.
  4. Fake Wallet Addresses: Scammers create fake wallets that look like legitimate wallets in order to trick users into downloading malware or sending funds directly to the scammer. These scams are frequently carried out via phishing or fake websites masquerading as legitimate wallet providers.
  5. Cloud Mining Scams: Cloud mining scams involve companies that promise to mine cryptocurrencies for customers while actually using customer funds to pay existing investors and line their own pockets. To entice investors, these investment scams frequently make false promises and offer unrealistic returns.
  6. Fake Crypto Airdrops: Scammers pose as legitimate companies and promise to give away free cryptocurrency in exchange for users’ private keys or seed phrases in fake crypto airdrops. In reality, the scammer will use the users’ information to steal their money.
  7. Malware Scams: Crypto malware scams are a type of cryptocurrency scam where scammers use malware to steal cryptocurrencies from unsuspecting users. Malware is essentially any type of software that is designed to harm, disrupt, or gain unauthorized access to a computer system or network. In the context of cryptocurrency, malware is often used to gain access to a user’s digital wallet. Once the scammers have gained access to the wallet, they get to transfer the funds to their own accounts, leaving the user with little to no recourse for recovering their stolen funds.
  8. Flash Loan Attacks: Flash loan attacks are a type of crypto fraud that take advantage of short-term loans, typically lasting only seconds, that are popular in the crypto market. These loans allow traders to buy tokens on one platform at a low price and sell them immediately on another platform to make a profit, all in one transaction that repays the loan. However, because flash loans are unsecured and don’t require a credit check, attackers can use them to manipulate pricing on decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms. The attacker will borrow funds and use them to create a fake impression of high demand by placing several buy and sell orders. They then cancel these orders after prices increase, causing the price to drop suddenly, and enabling them to buy at a lower price on a different platform and make a profit.
  9. Exit Crypto Scams: An exit crypto fraud occurs when the creators of a cryptocurrency or investment scheme abruptly disappear, taking all invested funds with them. To trick investors into sending their money, this type of scam usually involves deceptive promises, fabricated team identities, and misleading information. In some cases, scammers may establish a good reputation by gaining the trust of their victims before fleeing with their money.

Conclusion

To protect yourself from cryptocurrency scams, it is important to be vigilant and do your research. Never give out your private keys or login information, and always double-check the legitimacy of any site or investment opportunity before sending funds. We do hope this list of common crypto scams also helps you take precautions to keep your funds safe!

Want to read more articles on crypto investing, and the world of crypto and blockchain in general? Give my Medium page a visit!

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Dr Vin Menon

A blockchain enthusiast and entrepreneur’s musings on the next big revolution since the Internet.