By Brittany Keels, COO | Sarson Funds, Inc
Cryptocurrencies offer avenues for financial growth and innovation, but they also come with risks, including scams and fraudulent activities. To protect yourself and your investments, it’s essential to exercise caution, conduct thorough research, and seek professional guidance.
Below are some tips to help you avoid falling victim to a crypto scam:
The first step in protecting yourself from scams is to educate yourself about the common types of scams and how they work. Read reputable sources, learn about different types of scams, understand the red flags to watch out for, and familiarize yourself with how legitimate projects operate.
2. Regulatory Compliance
Before investing or trading in any cryptocurrency, ensure that the service or exchange you are using is compliant with local and international regulations. Regulatory compliance often adds a layer of credibility and security.
3. Secure Your Accounts/Wallets
Use strong and unique passwords for all your crypto-related accounts, including exchanges, wallets, and email addresses. Enable 2FA (two-factor authentication) when available to add an extra layer of security. Choose reputable and secure wallets for storing your cryptocurrencies. Hardware wallets, which are offline and immune to online attacks, are often considered the most secure option. Keeping your wallet software and security measures up to date can protect against new types of scams and vulnerabilities.
4. Private Keys
Never share your private keys, seed phrases, or any other sensitive information with anyone. Scammers may request this information to gain unauthorized access to your wallet. Write down your private keys at least twice and store those papers in different, secure locations. Never store a private key on a phone or computer.
5. Professional Advice
If you’re unsure about an investment opportunity, seek advice from financial professionals and experts in the crypto field. They can provide guidance and help you make informed decisions.
6. Verify the Project and Team
Research the project thoroughly. Check the project’s website, whitepaper, and social media profiles. Verify the team members’ credentials and professional backgrounds. Legitimate projects often have transparent team information and verifiable achievements. If you’re considering investing in a token or project that relies on smart contracts, check if the code has been audited by reputable firms. An unaudited smart contract increases your risk.
7. Verify Information
Phishing scams can lead you to fake websites that resemble legitimate ones. Always double-check URLs, especially before entering sensitive information. Avoid clicking on links from unverified sources.
8. Reputable Exchanges
When trading or buying/selling cryptocurrencies, use well-established and reputable exchanges. Scammers might create fake exchange websites to steal your funds or personal information. Check reviews and ratings before choosing an exchange.
9. Community Engagement
Active community engagement is often a sign of a legitimate project. Forums like Reddit, Telegram channels, or Discord servers can be good places to gauge community sentiment and ask questions. Scammers often impersonate well-known individuals or projects on social media platforms to trick users into sending funds. Verify the authenticity of accounts before engaging.
10. Beware of High Returns
Promises of guaranteed high returns are a red flag. Be cautious and conduct your due diligence before investing in any project offering such promises.
11. Trust Yourself
If something doesn’t feel right or you’re being pressured into making a decision, step back and take your time. Legitimate opportunities will still be there after you’ve done your due diligence.
While the crypto space offers exciting opportunities, it’s essential to enter it with caution to avoid falling victim to scams. By staying informed and conducting thorough research, you can significantly reduce the risk of being targeted by fraudulent schemes. Remember, protecting your funds and personal information is your top priority, and taking proactive measures is key to a safe and rewarding crypto experience.
Disclosures: Not investment advice. Talk with your financial advisor before making any investment decisions or have them contact Sarson Funds directly at [email protected]