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Cryptocurrency Scams on Social Media

Gold Bitcoin crypto currency on background of chart diagram

Social media cryptocurrency scams are on the rise. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has found that roughly half of those who paid for something or a service with cryptocurrency were ripped off. And there’s no sign that it will stop anytime soon. We have some advice to help you understand, spot, and avoid these new scams.

Why is Cryptocurrency a Problem
The fledgling currency is not illegal. Nor was it started by criminals. The intention of cryptocurrency was and is to exchange money outside international monetary rules and regulations. Furthermore, it is designed to be completely anonymous, meaning the person you are paying is not known to you, and you are not known to the person you are paying. That’s how criminals have taken advantage of crypto. The scammer gets paid but doesn’t have to deliver the promised goods or services (such as investment opportunities). And there is no way to track them or get your money back.

Be Careful on Social Media
Instagram and Facebook are littered with crypto fraud in the form of investment opportunities, according to the FTC. If a vendor or company you find on social media makes an offer that is too good to be true and asks for payment via cryptocurrency, you’re taking a big risk. Don’t think you’d fall for such a scam? The FTC found that those 20 to 49 years of age were more than three times as likely to lose money to this kind of scam than older Americans.

Don’t Trust Anyone on Social Media
Fraudsters have been known to hack Instagram accounts. They then target the person’s family and friends with get-rich-quick schemes and offers. If your uncle Bob all of a sudden is selling crypto investment opportunities, it’s a safe bet his account has been taken over. To be sure, connect with the person outside of social medial.

Look for These Signs of a Scam
The FTC has some solid advice to help you spot and avoid a crypto scam.

  • Scammers demand payment in cryptocurrency. A legitimate business will not demand you send cryptocurrency in advance.
  • Scams guarantee profits or big returns. Don’t trust anyone who promises big profits in crypto.
  • Online dating and investment advice don’t mix. If someone you are talking to online wants to discuss crypto investments, it’s likely a scam.

If you feel you have fallen victim to a crypto scam, contact the FTC at reportfraud.ftc.gov.