More and more people are using electronic money. The armies of crypto enthusiasts and blockchain evangelists march onwards into the future of a new digital economy. The industry is gaining popularity by the minute.
How can we tell? By looking at the amount of swindle attempts whether successful or not and the volumes of money they raise.
Scam, like a jester in a medieval palace, always accompanies royalty. It is there when something great is born. It picks up the crumbs from the royal table. It feeds on the vibes of hype and global commotion because where there are revolutionary ideas, there are also people who want a slice, of the pie but are still not entirely aware on how to get it. Needless to say, those people are easy money for the scammer.
You don’t have to take just my word for it. Take a look at the Spam and Phishing in Q2 2018 report released by Kaspersky Lab.
The company states that $2.3 million was stolen by cybercriminals performing cryptocurrency scams during the second quarter of 2018. Fake ICOs, token sales frauds and malicious websites that have disguised themselves as known service providers are the major threats pointed out by Kaspersky Lab.
I tend to learn a surprising lesson out of the situation: If $2.3 million is but the crumbs left by a growing, expanding industry imagine the full scale of it!
Kaspersky Lab’s Nadezhda Demidova seems to share the same point of view.
“The permanence of attacks targeting financial organizations reflects the fact that more and more people are using electronic money.”
The second lesson is obviously that more people should learn about digital security and ways of protecting their funds and investments.
“Still, not all of them [financial organizations] are sufficiently aware of the possible risks, so intruders are actively trying to steal sensitive information through phishing.”
Or, in simpler words, we are to enjoy the growth of an industry as prosperous as blockchain, but we must do so with caution. The real question is how does one do that?
Yes, every time that a new technology emerges there will come people wishing to spoil it for everyone. Luckily, this has happened so often already since the birth of the internet that we have foolproof ways of countering frauds and scoundrels.
Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you keep your money – both fiat and crypto – safe and sound in places where they should be.
- Publicity is an amazing trust-factor that many scammers tend to use as an advantage. If there’s too much of it – watch out. Tons of new Reddit users singing prayers to a new coin or an ICO, YouTube ads that pop up before every video you watch, banners of all shapes and sizes and colossal buzz everywhere except in trusted online resources that check their facts are obvious signs of a scam.
- Sometimes the odds will be in your favor, sometimes they won’t, but investments are always a gamble. Guarantees of all shapes and sizes are a major fraud sign.
- Use new software with caution. I get that the industry is growing and new amazing solutions that can really cut your expenses in half or provide are popping out like mushrooms but even more so do the phishing sites. Pay attention to reviews and try to explore as much about new software as you can. Pro tip: open source solutions tend to be safer.
- The large volumes of scams have made banks more cautious regarding ICOs so if there is a verified way of paying for crypto with your credit card, the odds are that your money is safe because the bank has done the homework for you. Transactions to crypto wallets, PayPal or via social media are, on the other hand, more suspicious.
- Think before you act. Anything that seems like it is too good to be true probably is.
So, guys, have you by any chance had the negative experience of interacting with scammers? Or, perhaps, you have more practical tips that may help others stay safe? Speak up then, share your stories in the comments section below.