THINGS I WISH I KNEW
Cryptocurrency is not only that innovative new tech that takes digital money to a new level, and guarantees freedom to the people, it is also a way scammers mask their identities to scam people, leaving them with few options to recover their funds.
We all know the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies and how these projects value their user’s privacy. They provide users the option to transact pseudonymously and sometimes anonymously, making it easier and cheaper to transfer money across borders without contacting a bank.
But with any advantage, there is always going to be some disadvantages lurking around threatening to destroy a good idea. This is also the case with crypto technologies since the creation of Bitcoin. A few years ago, criminals were only able to rob people physically, but with the advancement of digital technology to enhance our financial lives, we now also have digital cyber criminals.
Unfortunately In this era of financial revolution, it is inevitable that some people will become the victim of a cryptocurrency fraud. If that happens to you or to someone you know this article covers the 7 Things That will Save you after a Crypto Scam.
The Good, The Bad, The Decentralized
It is very rare to pinpoint a single technology created by humankind that does not also create opportunities for bad actors intent on carrying out malicious activities. For example, the invention of the computer brought black-hat hackers, the internet came with internet fraud, social networks brought us romance scams, and there are many others.
Almost all the innovations have assisted both good and bad people, and cryptocurrency is one of the recent innovations that bad actors are leveraging for their selfish interests.
However, the good thing about all this is that entrepreneurs who are building these technologies, are people who are always thinking of solutions to problems. The problems do not deter them. They inspire them. I believe, as a society, cryptocurrency has helped us in more ways than it has hurt us. We now have fast pseudonymous online transactions, borderless money transfers, in some cases decreased transaction charges, and even managed to control inflation with Bitcoin.
But with all these advantages, you still have to be careful. There have been a lot of cryptocurrency scams since the creation of Bitcoin. And more sophisticated crypto scams are rolling out all the time. One of the worst things about most crypto scams is that they are nearly untraceable.
Of course, there was internet fraud years before Bitcoin was invented, and there are still numerous fraud cases today that do not involve cryptocurrencies. In fact, there is still more fraud done today using fiat money than cryptocurrencies.
7 Things That will Save you after a Crypto Scam
But like I earlier mentioned, the decentralized nature of some cryptocurrencies has opened up more ways for scammers to try and trick crypto users. And at the same time making it easier to mask the identities of criminals. This can turn an advantage into a major disadvantage.
It’s Best to Avoid Scams
So what should someone do if they ever encounter a cryptocurrency scam? In the rest of this article I will walk you through 7 important things to remember.
But, before I dive into the things to do after an encounter with a cryptocurrency scam, you have to know that avoiding a scam is the best option. Many cryptocurrency scams are easy to spot, like any other scam, if you learn what to look for. And remember, any offer that sounds too good to be true, is probably a scam. To learn how to recognize some of the crypto scams happening today, check out my other articles in the blog category called Things I Wish I Knew.
You might also want to read this article about avoiding crypto scams called How To Avoid Crypto Email Scams.
The nature of most cryptocurrency scams is to start by offering lucrative profits for very little investment. You need to be very careful with which projects you choose to invest. Always, always research about projects that interests you before spending your hard earned cash. At Life with Crypto we follow many industry experts to determine what we think is a good investment. To find out what projects we like and some of the experts we follow, join the group called Trading and Investing. This is where we share our opinions and where other users can share their opinions.
7 Things That Will Save You After A Crypto Scam
1. Avoid Investing Big in Unresearched Projects
In many cases when people fall for scams, it is mostly because of juicy and attractive offers from scam projects. But like I mentioned before, anything that sounds unbelievable is not far from being a scam.
Sometimes you may still want to take the risk. At this point, you should consider investing just a little bit of money. That way if it turns out to be a scam, you won’t be left completely heartbroken. You’ll be able to walk away learning your lesson without losing very much of your money.
2. Preserve The Records About Everything
If you do find yourself on the wrong end of a crypto scam be sure to keep everything. When reporting any scam or fraud, you may be asked to provide many details including communications and transaction records about the event. Often times, if you lose the records, you may never be taken seriously by any authority. You could lose the only chance you have to get your funds back.
When preserving records that may be used as a reference, you should keep them safe. Consider keeping them on your devices, but also back them up onto the cloud. You may even print them out on paper. This is because it is easy to lose data stored on your phone. Or you might even lose the whole phone itself. In addition, if this information is stored in places like social networks or online communities you could lose access. You are not assured that it will be available when you need it. This could leave you with nothing to bring forward as a proof if the social media company has a problem or decides to delete it.
7 Things That will Save you after a Crypto Scam
You should also be aware that sometimes fraud investigation take a long time. So, you have to make sure you’re taking measures that will keep your data safe for a weeks, months, or even years. Laminating the records that you print or backing it up to an external hard-drive will help.
3. Reach Out To The Company But Don’t Pay Extra
We often get a feeling that something is not right just before we find out the truth. The fear of losing our precious money can give us this gnawing uncomfortable feeling.
If you happened to get this feeling about your crypto investment, consider reaching out to the company behind the project immediately. You need to make sure you are not being scammed by asking them directly about what bothers you. Many companies have very few customer service representatives and may not be able to reply as quick as you want. However you should still try reaching them on all the available channels like emails, phone and even their social media platforms. This will even be helpful to others that may be facing similar problems.
Keep in mind that no legitimate company will ask you to pay fees before they solve your problem. If the company asks you to pay money to process your withdrawal, you need to back out and seek legal action. There is no point paying money to get your own money. If it is a legitimate company, they will not ask you is to pay additional funds. If there is a service fee consider negotiating to have it taken out of the funds they owe you.
4. Find Community Support
Many cryptocurrencies have active communities on platforms like Reddit, Telegram or Discord. This is helpful when researching about any cryptocurrency project that is giving you reasons for doubt. You can reach out to the community and ask if anyone else is having similar issues. If things are not going well with the project, it is likely that you may find others complaining about the same things.
You can also reach out to individual members of the community and ask them some question. But be careful with the advice you get in this situation. It is possible for someone to use the opportunity to try to scam you again. Plus, you should reject any advice that encourages you to pay more money.
Sharing your concerns may help you and may help someone else. It may also connect you to people who have the same problems with the same project. This might create an opportunity to work with others to resolve the issue.
If you are certain the project is a complete scam, it will be great to make it known to the public. Try leaving comments on review sites like trustpilot or sharing it to social media. Crooks don’t usually like the spotlight.
5. Report to Your Local Authorities
Immediately upon discovering that you have been a victim of cyber crime, you should consider reaching out to your local authorities ASAP. The local authorities may not start the investigation immediately, but they will most likely take your information and guide you to the best resources available. They may even help you connect to the right agencies that will help you recover your funds.
It important to report scams even if you lost only small amounts, because in most cases, agencies tend to wait to get many cases about a scam before they open an investigation. Not reporting a crime will prolong the life of the scheme.
6. Report to U.S. Authorities
If the fraud is big enough, it may be a good idea to consider reporting the fraud to federal authorities or even authorities in other countries. This greatly improves the chances of catching the bad guys. Currently, the United States leads the way in fighting cyber crimes.
There are several bodies in the United States that are trying to stop fraud. These agencies are the SEC and CFTC. Another agency in the U.S. is the internet crime complaint center where you can make a complaint about any crime. These agencies don’t restrict anyone from reporting crimes, you can file a report even if you are not a U.S. citizen.
However, you will have better chances if you are living in the U.S.
7. Get Legal Advice
If you experience a fraud or major crime that involves crypto, you should consider speaking to an attorney who has knowledge on crypto fraud or is a specialist in the field.
They may provide you the right advice on what procedures to take. The best part about talking to an attorney is that they may let you know if you are eligible for a whistleblower award. These awards are for people who report certain fraud cases to U.S. regulators. Also consider that other countries may also have a whistleblower award that your attorney knows about.
Whistleblowing is not only applicable to crypto scams but any other crime such as money laundering and paying bribes. Awards could rack up to millions of dollars, so it is worth talking to a specialist or an attorney. Sometimes you may not need to pay the attorney any fees unless you get a whistleblower award.
Reporting fraud may sometimes feel stressful but it is definetely worth taking action to stop them from scamming more people.