Bitcoin and other crypto currencies attract millions of people around the world because of how fast, efficient and easy they are to use. They also attract scammers and criminals because of the same reasons.
There are dozens of bitcoin scams and we couldn’t cover how they all work in one article. We can list a few red flags that scammers use to part you from your money and tips with how to avoid them.
The Red Flags
- If someone approaches you online and only wants to communicate through text. Scammers that are not native English speakers hate talking on the phone
- The phone number they use is not a valid cell phone number. Everyone has a cell phone and you can easily verify their number (tips below). If the number comes back registered to an internet company like Google Voice, Sybase, Enflick, 360 Networks or TextSMS, they are most likely a scammer.
- If someone you have known less that a year asks you to help them move money around.
- If someone approaches you on a dating website and before you meet them in person, they ask you for help with money or moving their money.
- Someone offers to sell you something online like a car that is at a “great deal” but they pressure you to make the deal quickly without meeting first.
- Someone claims to be an active US Service member overseas that needs help with financial transactions. The US Armed Forces have their own bank and several organizations to help our soldiers with that. Real soldiers don’t contact strangers online for help.
- If someone contacts you and tells you that you owe a bill and need money to pay it immediately or there is an additional daily fee.
Bust the scammers
- Check out there phone number online. We use services like Pipl.com and TruePeopleSearch.com .
- A reputable business will have a phone number that can easily be found in Google searches. If you cannot find any information about the phone number DO NOT TRUST THEM.
- The IRS and other government agencies will never call you and ask you to pay a bill over the phone. The IRS contacts people by US Mail.
- If you have someone ask you to send them money online ask your local bank for help figuring out the truth. They have people that specialize in tracking and preventing scams.
- Scammers often pray on people over the age of 50 because they know our older loved ones may not be as tech savvy. Ask a younger family member or someone at your bank for help.
Scams are everywhere and bitcoin is not the only way people get scammed. Criminals ask for wire transfers, Zelle payments, cash deposits and more. No matter what their scam is if you heed the tips we have shared here you greatly reduce your chance of being scammed.