Binance, a global corporation that operates the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of daily trading volume of cryptocurrencies has outlined ways to identify and avoid fake investment schemes to protect one from cryptocurrency scams.
According to the crypto firm established in 2017, on the surface, investment con artists may appear legitimate, posing as crypto financial advisers, employees of major financial firms, or even celebrities.
“Investment scams, while they take various forms, share a common mechanism: they promise victims exorbitantly high returns before stealing their money. If you only remember one thing, it should be that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Keep your distance,” warned Binance.
The company noted that a typical investment scam happens in the following four-step process:
Scammers typically locate potential victims on popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, contacting the victim posing as an investment manager offering advice or a wealthy individual who “accidentally” messaged the wrong person.
Fake investment scams aren’t always so straightforward. One may come across advertisements on social media that promote their services by using a well-known brand or persona.
These advertisements will then direct people to a professional-looking website designed to gain their trust.
By sharing investment success stories, glowing user “testimonials,” and phony earnings reports, the scammer begins to build trust with their newly acquired target.
Some con artists will even bring up topics such as the victim’s health, emotional well-being, and even family members.
After a period of “friendship” — and brainwashing — the scammer has gained the target’s basic trust and will steer the conversation toward investing and earning large sums of money.
Our team has also seen scammers promote bogus investment software with dubious prices, investment returns, and coin listings.
Going even further, the scammer can create an overly optimistic movement with fabricated charts to entice investors to deposit money.
“Closing the deal” is the final step. Often, just as the victim is about to celebrate their newly-earned profits, it becomes impossible to withdraw their money or the account has been “shut down.” The “investment manager” grows distant and eventually ceases to respond to messages.
At this point, the target has become a victim of a scam. The scammer may even request additional funds from the victim to facilitate a withdrawal.
To avoid being scammed, Binance outlines the following methods:
First, conduct your research. A whitepaper should be included in every cryptocurrency project. The whitepaper should explain the mechanics and tokenomics of the project. If someone is enticing you to invest in a project with a whitepaper that makes no sense – or, worse, does not exist – proceed with caution.
Conduct a background investigation on the company, its owners, directors, and team members. At a minimum, conduct a quick Google search and use common sense. Consider the following:
Is there a real team working on the project? What problem is the project attempting to address? Is there a genuine user community behind the project or its product?
Secondly, Don’t take authenticity for granted. Professionally designed websites, advertisements, or social media posts do not imply a genuine investment opportunity.
Criminals can and frequently do use the names of well-known companies, such as Binance, or famous people to make their scams appear legitimate.
Thirdly, high returns should be avoided. No financial investment can guarantee a profit in the future.
No single person, algorithm, or project can predict the market accurately and consistently. Anything that guarantees you a profit is a red flag. Pay special attention to statements like “earn 3% per day.” Don’t be fooled by a low number that appears to be legitimate: 3% per day equals 1095% per year, an implausible return on investment.
If you’ve fallen victim to a social media scam, report it to the appropriate social media platform and your local authorities.
“If you’ve already made a payment or transfer with a debit/credit card, change your passwords and freeze your financial accounts. Furthermore, crypto scammers frequently sell stolen credentials to other criminals. To avoid further harm, change all usernames and passwords.”
In addition, don’t believe strangers who come right after the scam, especially if they offer to recover your money. The subsequent scam could be unrelated to or independent of the previous one, such as an offer to return your money after you pay an upfront fee.
If your Binance account has been compromised, please contact the crypto firm right away.