Bitcoin is a remarkable cryptographic achievement. The ability to create something that is not duplicable in the digital world has tremendous value. The Bitcoin architecture, literally the ability to have these books that can not be replicated, is an amazing advance. Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, March 2014.
With Bitcoin increasing prices over the years and achieving billions of dollars in market capitalization, all sorts of people see its value and appeal. This brings out both the good and the bad in human nature. Unfortunately, the bad swindlers are coming. The bottom line is that scammers also want to benefit from Bitcoin somehow, but by shameful means. This usually involves targeting unprepared victims who eventually lose their Bitcoin.
In this guide we will guide you through the most common bitcoin scams. We’ll show you how to recognize them and make sure you’re not the next victim.
Fake Bitcoin Exchanges
Counterfeit bitcoin exchange
In social networks you often see a link that says something like “buy Bitcoin for 5% below market value”. Save a lot! “This is a marketing trick to get you to visit and use their fake barter.
When you visit an Exchange site, you first need to make sure that HTTPS is secured, not HTTP. This means that the web traffic is encrypted and secured; if it is only HTTP without the “S”, that’s a big red flag, meaning stay away.
Another red flag to watch out for is fake exchanges offering Bitcoin for PayPal. On these pages you will see a web form to enter your PayPal e-mail address and the amount to be sold. After submitting, you will receive a QR code to which you can send your Bitcoin. But the money never comes.
Most of these fake exchanges are here one day and the next. You will see them appear but disappear quickly and reappear later with another domain name.
To be sure you are going to a real Bitcoin Exchange, visit our Exchange portal on Bitcoin.com to make sure you are not being cheated.
Fake bitcoin wallets
Finding bad bitcoin wallets is a bit trickier because wallets primarily store bitcoins and do not buy or sell. It has less to do with money than the software you can use. In general, counterfeit Bitcoin wallets are just a scam that malware infects your computer to steal your passwords or private keys. To ensure security, Bitcoin.com recommends our official Bitcoin Wallet for desktop and mobile users. To browse all wallets offered on Bitcoin.com, visit our Wallets page.
Just like fake Bitcoin file sharing, trust your instincts and look for red flags. Does the wallet site use HTTPS? Is the name of the wallet page so similar that it resembles another reputable Bitcoin wallet by posing as such? Aside from the obvious, it’s hard to tell if a wallet is fake. A good practice is to ask your colleagues if someone has ever used the wallet. You can do this on the Bitcoin forum or Bitcoin Reddit.
If the wallet is a client that can be downloaded, it is recommended that you check the website for malware. Sites like VirusTotal are a great resource for scanning executables to see if they contain viruses.
To avoid fraud and to ensure that you receive a genuine Bitcoin wallet, visit our Wallet portal at Bitcoin.com or download the Official Wallet directly from Bitcoin.com.
This is a very common scam. Phishing is when someone tries to believe you that it is a trusted company or website by visiting a fake website.
Usually phishers contact you via email or through a fake web advertisement. The bottom line is that you mistakenly go to your website and either get malware or lose your Bitcoin through a false sale.
For e-mails, you have to be careful not to take the bait. You may receive an e-mail from a wallet or exchange that you already use, either by accident or through previous database hacks. Maybe hackers have received your e-mail address on the black market. for example from a Yahoo! or other service hack.