Cryptocurrency — it’s the digital money that’s exploding in popularity and also in risks. In fact, cryptocurrency scams have soared 1000% since October. So, before you dive in the cryptocurrency craze, there are some things you need to be aware of.
As the popularity and price of bitcoin, dogecoin, and Ethereum continue to skyrocket, so do the online scams. The Federal Trade Commission reports Americans have lost more than $80 million to crypto cons since October.
Not understanding just what cryptocurrency is seems to be playing into the hands of scammers.
One type of scheme offers investment tips online that redirect consumers to fraudulent sites.
In another, scammers pose as celebrities, such as Elon Musk, and trick consumers into sending them cryptocurrency by promising that the celebrity will contribute to their investment. The FTC warns guaranteed returns are always fake. So are promises of free money.
Scammers often make big claims without details, celebrity endorsements or testimonials are easily faked, and be extremely wary of anyone asking you to send a wire transfer or gift card.
Investors tend to like cryptocurrency because there is no centralized bank and no government oversight, but there is also no insurance for people whose money disappears.
Consumers aged between 20 and 49 were more than five times more likely to be conned than older age groups with a median loss of $1,900. For more information about cryptocurrency investment scams and how to avoid them, go to the FTC’s website.