The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has raised concerns on social platforms over bitcoin scams. Respective authorities globally are working on ways to safeguard their citizens from scams that result in large loss of funds.
It’s still debatable whether Bitcoin itself will bring profits for holders in the future, or the bubble will burst. Many financial experts have already conflicted over it. Transactions with the digital currency are at a record high, and so is the bitcoin price.
Scams are another matter though. Bitcoin offers near-anonymous, non-reversible transactions. While this makes it great as form of global digital cash, it’s a boon to scammers. Many of the classic tricks — from Ponzi schemes to fake “accounts” and brazen rip-offs — are resurfacing as criminals cash in on newcomers’ naivety and greed.
Therefore, the ACMA has come forth to advise and protect Australian residents from falling prey to common money scams. It screenshotted various fraudulent websites whose goals are to collect personal information.
SCAM ALERT! Watch out for scams targetting people who use BitCoin and Ethereum currencies https://t.co/A3wjjmT1KP
— ACMA (@acmadotgov) October 30, 2017
Scammers’ Medium to Steal Information (and Money)
The global growth in popularity of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency has led to a massive rise in scams. Governments worldwide are still reasoning whether to accept and regulate cryptocurrencies, or simply ban them. Even those that regulate find they can only monitor and control so much.
Bitcoin phishing websites, fake surveys, and dummy wallets have ripped off many bitcoin owners worldwide. The ACMA warned Australians to look out for any “red flag” websites or apps that could steal their money. The main drawback with cryptocurrency is that it is difficult to track down transactions. Hence, once the money is stolen it is impossible to retrieve it.
Concerns over the digital currency have not stopped bitcoin enthusiasts from buying and trading. On the contrary, negative inputs on the currency (especially when they come from governments or bankers) somehow end up acknowledged as positive.
The ACMA’s worry is over proliferating fraudulent crypto schemes, that in some ways have become a staple of the virtual currency world.
Most vulnerable are those who are new to the crypto world. Although, even cryptocurrency experts fall into traps put out by scammers. Once a private key is stolen, there’s almost no way to get it back.
Cybercriminals may also take control of online accounts, with the victim denied access. Don’t expect the service provider to reimburse you for your own mistakes.
Be Alert, Scams Are Everywhere
The best way to keep safe is to stay alert when dealing in any cryptocurrencies. Also, avoid clicking through any unknown websites or apps. Recently Xapo warned its users about such phishing scams.
Few of the scams are unique to cryptocurrency — there are far more phishing attacks on PayPal and major banks. Investments promising unrealistically high returns have been around for as long as money itself. Bitcoin just gives it all a new angle, and ropes in millions of potential new starry-eyed prospectors.
Experts advise staying away from programs that promise high returns in short period. Also, having two-factor verification on cryptocurrency wallets and exchange accounts provide additional security.
In the end though, nothing beats common sense and caution.
Do you warn crypto newcomers about scams like these? Tell us about them in the comments.
Images via ACMA