This article is complementary to previous articles related to ICOs. Now that you understand the ICO system, you will now know the different scams that “everyone else” is likely to fall into. Indeed, the crypto-currency market is in a way the “El Dorado” of the most experienced hackers and scammers, both for the mass of money they can earn thanks to the thousands of small investors in search of wealth and thinking they have seized the financial opportunity of their lives, and the non-existent or still too weak legal context to deter. This provides the best opportunities to carry out the most illegal activities.
The strong attractiveness of crypto-currencies only reinforces this trend, which unfortunately is not likely to change any time soon. Faced with this increase in the number of scams, it is up to investors to ensure their security through a thorough fundamental analysis upstream in order to detect inconsistencies related to projects. In this article, we will give you some tips on how to easily detect the biggest scams.
In this frantic race for wealth and a golden retirement well before the average, many are crooks, ready to do anything to set up false projects very realistic for the most confirmed, that too many investors fall for. Since this principle is widely used in the crypto world, it is the most successful and difficult to detect scam for the most fragile investors, even for confirmed ones. The CIA has written a guide explaining the basics of fundamental analysis to distinguish good projects from scams.
If you do not wish to read the guide, here is a summary of the things you should keep in mind when investing in cryptocurrencies:
- Find out about the project team (If they want to remain anonymous, you need to ask yourself questions)
- Have a look in the ANN section on Bitcointalk.org to see any announcements regarding the launch of the project.
- Reading the white paper is essential before any investment. If there are none, run away.
- Consulting the source code is also an important point that you should not neglect.
- Even if this is not prohibitive, the quality of a site must attract your attention if it is not in line with the financial ambitions of the project.
- Find out about the exchange platforms to which cryptocurrency is listed (Names recognized in the cryptographic sphere are reassuring for all stakeholders)
Cloud Mining or lending platforms
Cryptocurrency mining is the system that brings the blockchain to life. Miners earn crypto-currencies in exchange for their services. In theory, the more miners operate, the faster the transactions are, which is beneficial for the functioning of the blockchain. However, the equipment required for this activity is very expensive and does not allow everyone to access this activity. Don’t worry, because it is still possible for the greatest enthusiasts to contribute to the existence of the blockchain, while earning money through cloud mining.
Indeed, some companies with a sufficient computing capacity may offer individuals the rental of a part of these resources in order to participate in mining and thus make a profit.
But this is godsend for smart crooks who take advantage of the very logic of the blockchain’s operation in order to deceive the most sensitive people to the profit generated, without the slightest effort. How do they do it in practice? they creates attractive websites and promise future investors utopian investment returns, while they have nothing more than a bank account located in a tax haven. It is difficult to detect scams in this type of activity. The only thing to do is to find opinions on the most recognized forums such as Bitcointalk or Reddit for example.
You can also check the company’s customers so that you can easily see public and real results, especially through press releases or other media that are legit enough to give you confidence. Otherwise, if a project promises you a daily return equivalent to several A passbooks and for life, the only advice I can give you is to run away while there is still time, because this is a pyramid scheme from which you can never recover your hard-earned money.
This scam takes place more commonly on Twitter and is done in 2 ways
- Scammers will imitate the original count of heavy references such as leaders for example.
- Or these charlatans comment directly on the publication of official accounts, making it easier to attract more victims.
Spammers ask people in publications to send cryptocurrencies like ETHs to an address and promise to multiply your bet by 10 once the amount is returned. A recurring problem? No one gets their money back in these situations.
You should know that money doesn’t come out of the blue, so no team will ask you to send them money, especially on social networks.
Twitter is obviously used as an example, but all social networks are full of scams that, even if they are practiced in different ways, will be based on the same method, which will consist in impersonating official teams.
This is also the case on collective messaging app such as Telegram where problems regularly arise, especially for popular projects, when the payment address on the often saturated website does not allow the money from investors to be received. These, as a first reflex to redirect themselves to Telegram but on bad channels unfortunately created by scammers who do not hesitate to fool users by indicating an address different from the one specific to the project.
The scammers do not stop there, however, because they act by sending public or private messages but also e-mails through look-alike accounts of the people on the team representing the ICO thanks to the addresses they have been able to collect.
As you will have understood, the world of cryptocurrencies can be dangerous for anyone acting in haste. You must redouble your attention and anticipate in every aspect of the situation in which you find yourself.
Tools to uncover scams
Google image Yandex, less known to the general public but formidable weapons to counter crooks. Indeed, these search engines offer very powerful features to find the sources of images used on all websites.
Similar web is a powerful solution and offers you many measures to allow a thorough audience analysis. This tool allows you, for example, to check the veracity of the comments of the project team members. For example, if the Community Manager claims to have raised millions of dollars but the site specifies an audience of about 5,000 visits per month, you have the right to ask yourself questions. It doesn’t always work because the most sophisticated scammers think about buying traffic. In this case, it is always possible for you to see the origin of the traffic. For example, an ICO whose head office is in France and that the entire audience is located in Eastern countries or on the African continent should attract your attention. The way in which the site allows us to interpret the figures appeals to and engages users in a thorough reflection before any investment.
The regulatory authority
If you wish to invest in brokers (trading platforms), please note that an authorisation from the financial authorities is required to offer investment advices and order execution services on the financial markets. It is generally easy to find out about this point through the register of financial officers from your country. In addition, the Financial Markets Authority regularly updates a black list of all websites specialising in cryptocurrencies that are not authorised to carry out their activity, which you can consult online.
Example of authority regulator in USA
Example of authority regulator in France
A few basic points to learn about
- The authorizations
- The origin of the site
- Its age (rare are scams to last in time)
- The site community
- Its visibility on social networks
- His reputation in the forums
I hope you enjoyed this article and that you know enough to counter the most serious traps. If you want more articles on cryptomarket scams, let me know in private message on Twitter or LinkedIn. Feel free to subscribe to our social networks to be informed of the latest articles written by the CIA!
Passionate about digital technologies and thanks to my experiences as advisor in the crypto sector, my goal is to popularize this fascinating but nevertheless vague world to the general public as simply as possible