Beware of Cryptocurrency Scams

Education | 11/03/23

Cryptocurrency is one of the most controversial trends in investment and finance. It’s also a popular topic for scammers. Here’s what you need to know about cryptocurrency fraud. 

How the scams play out 

There are several ways scammers are using cryptocurrency to con people out of their money. 

Social media. A target receives a social media message appearing to be from a friend, asking for cryptocurrency to help them out of a bind. 

Mining. Bogus websites lure targets into what appear to be opportunities for mining or investing in cryptocurrency. 

Giveaways. These “giveaways” claim to be sponsored by celebrities or big-name cryptocurrency investors. They promise exponential returns for small investments in crypto, or for simply sharing personal info. 

Romance. Scammers convince victims they have met a legitimate love interest who soon starts talking about fabulous cryptocurrency opportunities with incredible returns. The victim acts upon this advice, and, sadly, loses their money. 

In each of these scams, the victim has no way of recovering the cryptocurrency they shared once an “investment” has been made. Cryptocurrencies are not insured by the NCUA or FDIC. Once a cryptocurrency transaction has been made, it’s nearly untraceable and there’s little to no chance of getting your money back.

How to spot a cryptocurrency scam

Look out for these red flags to help avoid cryptocurrency scams: 

  • You’re promised big payouts with guaranteed returns on a small investment in cryptocurrency. 
  • A celebrity or famed cryptocurrency investor is sponsoring a cryptocurrency giveaway.
  • You receive a suspicious message claiming to be from someone you know requesting you send them cryptocurrency
  • You’re promised free money in cryptocurrency in exchange for sharing some personal information.
  • A caller, new love interest, or organization insists on payment by cryptocurrency.

Never share personal information or money with an unverified contact.

If you’ve been targeted

If you believe you’ve been targeted by a cryptocurrency scam, report it to the FTC. If you are an Ascend member and you believe your accounts have been compromised, please call us at 800-342-3086. For more tips fraud prevention, check out how to protect yourself from A.I. fraud.

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