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Bitcoin has become synonymous with the cryptocurrency boom and online transactions. Once considered to be a fringe currency used only among criminals, these days everyone is trying to learn how to mine Bitcoin and profit off the boom.
Recently, news released that Bitcoin's cash value now exceeds approximately $3,000 per coin. So, those who bought Bitcoins in the past are now finding themselves with a lot more capital gains and a ridiculously high return.
Considering the profitability that can come with investing in Bitcoin, it's easy to see why scammers are beginning to create traps to steal money from people who simply want to invest in Bitcoin.
This is a huge deal, too. Thousands — if not millions — of dollars have already been stolen by scam artists through Bitcoin scams. If you want to invest safely, make sure you know how to spot a Bitcoin scam.
According to experts, would-be investors need to watch out for offers that involve any of the following...
Off-Site Bitcoin Wallets
One of the most common Bitcoin scams on the net is the creation of fake Bitcoin wallets — often ones that are near-perfect copycats of the real deal. Many of these faux wallets work initially to gain your trust, then siphon off Bitcoins until you're left empty-handed. Some even have shown up on the Apple Marketplace!
Learning how to spot a Bitcoin scam like this means that you should always beware of wallets that are off-brand, off-name, or even unaffiliated to the reputable wallet provider's site. When in doubt, it may be better to eschew a mobile Bitcoin wallet altogether.
Faux software is a classic scheme that can get your computer and phone infected with malware. So, you really need to be careful when downloading a Bitcoin wallet.
Bitcoin Investment Schemes
Want to invest in a Bitcoin stock? Well, you can't officially. However, some scammers would want you to think otherwise — and they'll walk away with your money as soon as they get it.
If you want to learn how to spot a Bitcoin scam using investing, it's simple. If you're not buying Bitcoins directly, or if you're not doing business with a registered and licensed company, it's probably a scam.
Another commmon form of this scam involves MLM. If the company that's talking to you doesn't have an understandable product but offers "great commissions," then you're dealing with a pyramid scheme or MLM. It's a scam, and that means it's not worth it.
If you're dealing with a Bitcoin exchange market, make a point of only going to the most reputable ones. Lower fees are often a key sign that you're dealing with a fake market that will gladly take your money without giving you a single Bitcoin in return.
Much like with any other investment, be wary of anyone offering great returns or discussing an investment that doesn't actually make sense. If it doesn't make sense, it won't make you any cents.
Faux Cloud Mining Scams
Ever want to pay someone else to mine Bitcoin for you? Cloud mining as a passive income can be very profitable. It seems like a straightforward endeavor, until you realize that the world of cloud mining has been hit by scammers, as well. As a result, you need to watch out for faux cloud mining services.
Learning how to spot a Bitcoin scam of this nature is relatively easy. Fake miners are people who offer to mine Bitcoin for you, get paid to do so, but never actually do the work. Generally speaking, these services have few good reviews — if any — and tend to be hard to get a hold of when it comes to customer service.
Many major cloud mining scams have also made headlines, including HashInvest, Cointellect, Hashpoke, GAW Miners and Hash Ocean. When in doubt, just search them up on a reputable forum.
Old School Ploys
Part of learning how to spot a Bitcoin scam is using common sense. Old school tactics are still being applied to new school marketplaces, and Bitcoin is no different in that sense.
Things like phishing will still happen with Bitcoin scams. Same goes for emotional ploys on donations for a cause or "official" companies begging for Bitcoin. (Hint: The ASPCA doesn't take Bitcoin donations!)
Similarly, sketchy URLs involving social media will probably not get you mounds of Bitcoin — and if you're doing stuff with Bitcoin, you need to make sure you keep an eye on your internet safety protocols.
There's nothing wrong with reading more advice when it comes to detecting Bitcoin scams. If you invest wisely and look before you leap, you will be able to avoid most of the worst scammers out there.