Since platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have risen in popularity, people with poor intentions have looked for ways to bilk people and businesses out of their information and/or money. The same is true when it comes to crypto and social media.
Nefarious parties are searching for ways to scam you out of your crypto, claiming it for themselves and leaving you with nothing. The good news is that we’re here to tell you how to identify social media crypto scams and how you can protect yourself against them.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
A social media crypto scam is a scheme or ploy that involves defrauding cryptocurrency owners. The disadvantage of social media is that it allows scammers a way to effortlessly interact with millions - if not billions - of people from around the world.
Additionally, social media gives people anonymity if they so choose, which can make it difficult for a crime to be tied to the original scammer. As a result, scammers can quickly and easily establish fake accounts, giving victims the impression that they’re conversing with someone they know.
Another disadvantage of social media is the flexibility afforded by simply going through a person’s public profile. With this information, the scammer is going to impersonate someone you trust. This could be a friend, relative, or coworker. By doing so, they gain your confidence and convince you to send them your crypto.
Social media also gives scammers a way to utilize faking advertisements. They use these adverts and send them to potential victims, which then directs them to send crypto to a fake account or wallet.
However, the most common social media scams are investment “opportunities.” These scams typically turn out to be Ponzi schemes that entice users to invest through the promise of incredible returns or the advantage of getting in on a project at the ground level.
The important thing to remember when sending any funds online is that a healthy amount of skepticism can be a good thing. This is especially true when it comes to your personal finances. By taking a few extra steps and being a little more cautious, you can avoid becoming another social media scam victim.
There is no shortage of social media crypto scams, from the sophisticated to the simple. Here are some to keep an eye out for while perusing your favorite social media app.
Social media crypto scams typically succeed because the victim sees dollar signs or quick returns for their investments. That’s why it’s so important to be vigilant when you come across these types of scams. For example, giveaway scams are used to mimic celebrities or well-known brands.
Usually, they promise to send you back double or triple your money if only you’ll send some of your own crypto to a specific wallet. Unfortunately, the reality is that once you send your crypto to the given wallet address, you’ll never see it again. It’s gone for good.
Sometimes it’s easier to trust businesses than people, especially if it’s a well-known brand worth billions of dollars. Unfortunately, there are scammers out there more than willing to impersonate these brands if it means adding a few thousand cryptos to their accounts.
When it comes to interacting with businesses, it’s best to be cautious and skeptical. Take a moment to study their online behavior before clicking on a link. Is this a new email from a business you’ve never interacted with before? If so, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with a scam.
Remember, if things don’t add up, or the brand is behaving in a way that doesn’t align with its online reputation, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with a scam. Avoid providing personal information or clicking on questionable links.
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve learned that scammers will use any means necessary to get their hands on your cryptocurrency - even if it means pretending to be someone famous. When it comes to impersonating celebrities, scammers use fake profiles, then target victims through direct messages, convincing them they’re dealing with the real deal.
However, a quick glance through their profiles or past posts will usually reveal these imposters for what they are - fakes. More often than not, these scammers promise amazing rewards in exchange for simply clicking on a link. Don’t do it.
Of course, there are other ways to determine the validity of an account. For example, if you’ve received a direct message from Elon Musk, but he only has a few thousand Twitter followers, there’s a good chance you’re being scammed. Additionally, if the celebrity is well-known for their platform activity, but their first post was fairly recent, you're more than likely dealing with a scammer.
Scammers are always looking for quick and easy ways to get your crypto. They’ve gone to great lengths to do so, including impersonating businesses and celebrities on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. That’s why it’s important to always be on the lookout for suspicious activity.
If you aren’t sure about a message or the validity of an account, report it to that platform! Doing so will help make social media platforms safer for everyone. Speaking of which, you can follow Bitcoin Depot on all your favorite social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and others. Come join us on our crypto journey!