The first and most well-known cryptocurrency was Bitcoin, which was introduced by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. It has gained momentum in recent years, especially as it is being adopted by more and more merchants and its value has soared to new heights. Unfortunately, it also means that it has become a popular target of scammers and cybercriminals. They are targeting Bitcoin owners for their new tricks and many people have had to suffer from the brunt of these crypto scams. When you do a little bit of research, you will come to know that there are tons of cryptocurrency scams, especially ones involving Bitcoin as it is one of the most valuable ones that exist.
These variety of scams use different tactics and platforms for scamming people and walking away with their cryptocurrency. Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, have also become a hotspot for such Bitcoin social media scams. There is no doubt that social media is an excellent way of connecting with others, expressing yourself and staying informed, but there are also people out there who try and use it to their advantage. In the past couple of years, there has been an increase in bad actors on various social media platforms.
Thus, Bitcoin social media scams have become very common and there are some prominent ones that you should know about. Xtrgatereview is here to explain Some of these scams are:
- Instagram scam tricking people into buying things
Instagram Bitcoin scams have become quite rampant in the past few years. One such scam that was based in Sweden tried to convince people to purchase high-end products at extremely low prices. The sellers make it appear urgent by telling people to act fast because the products in question are in very high demand. Then, once they have convinced the seller to make purchases and the conversation moves towards the payment process, the seller asks them to chance their fiat currency into cryptocurrency to complete the transaction.
When a buyer complies and the transaction is completed, the seller pulls a vanishing act. This means the customer never ends up with the goods they paid for. Such Instagram Bitcoin scams are not that easy to spot right away because the seller first approaches their victims by asking for payment in fiat currencies for the merchandise. Later on, they change their track and state that there is a problem due to which the payment now needs to be made in cryptocurrency.
Lots of people are understandably concerned when they are using social media platforms like Instagram because they don’t want to be tracked and have their data collected. After all, nothing is available for free and the companies behind these social media apps have free reign over the data they collect from their users. In some cases, these fears are not unfounded and have prompted people to change their settings for discouraging any tracking attempts by the companies. However, Instagram Bitcoin scams indicate that people need to be concerned about any potential scenarios where their data might be compromised after they are convinced into thinking they need to buy something.
If you are offered to purchase something on Instagram or any other social media platform and asked to pay in crypto form, it is best to completely steer clear of it or at least do your due diligence.
- Untruthful Facebook ads
Once Bitcoin’s popularity shot up, it became a very hot topic for Facebook ads. However, as it should be clear from the previous point, ads on social media are not what they seem. Some Chinese businessmen ended up being swindled when they became victim to the Facebook ads that were offering Bitcoin for very attractive prices. Once these people had made arrangements with the sellers, they were provided proof that the Bitcoin did exist and they were called to an apartment for completing the transaction in person.
It didn’t take long for accomplices to show up dressed as police offers. They raided the location, tied up the victims and walked away with $250,000 from these people who fell for the trick. One of the victims managed to free himself and thwarted any further attempts from the criminals. However, the other two who had been involved in the attack directly took off with valuables that belonged to the businessmen. A number of crooks were connected to this crime, but only three of them were sentenced to prison for a year.
The lesson to learn from this particular Facebook scam is to not go to an unfamiliar address for completing a Bitcoin transaction. The nature of this cryptocurrency is such that it doesn’t require any in-person meetings at all. If the seller doesn’t agree to an online transaction, it is best to choose a public or well-populated place in case something happens and you need help.
- Social media profiles of celebrities are copied for Bitcoin contests
It doesn’t come as a surprise that those who have social media clout can easily get their online followers to pay attention to any service, product or brand they promote. As a matter of fact, this method of spreading the word has spawned a complete industry of social media influencers, a number of whom are in high demand and often team up with brands. It didn’t take long for scammers to start targeting Bitcoin enthusiasts by capitalizing falsely on the value and name of celebrities, businesspeople and other powerful individuals.
These scammers made cloned accounts and used the fake ones for enticing people. They used them to entice followers to participate in ‘giveaway’ contests by sending Bitcoin. The most notable incident in this regard was when a clone of Elon Musk’s account was made. The criminals used the new version of the account to con people and they stole $37,000 worth of Bitcoin before they were caught. One good way to avoid this scam is to check for the icon of verified account, but this trick is not always sufficient. This is because some verified account holders have also been known to pull this stunt. Therefore, it is best to err on the side of caution and do some research outside social media to confirm if any such ‘celebrity’ offers exist.
- Likenesses used illegally for advertising Bitcoin schemes
These particular Bitcoin scams come with a twist; scammers and cybercriminals take celebrity quotes and images and use them to populate ads on Facebook. This gives people the impression that these stars are genuinely supporting the methods of using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for earning huge fortunes. Australian stars were used in ads for one iteration of this plot. However, the most recent incident involved using the likeness of Martin Lewis, a British financial expert, for defrauding unsuspecting victims on Instagram. A similar thing had been in 2019 on Facebook and a defamation suit was filed by Martin Lewis. An excellent way to avoid such a scam is to do your research outside of social media networks. You should never believe something is true just because other people believe it.
These are some Bitcoin scams that are rampant on social media, but Instagram seems to have become the top target of scammers nowadays. There is an increasing number of fake sellers on Instagram that are offering luxury deals to people at bargain prices. Those who don’t have any knowledge of Instagram Bitcoin scams often fall victim to these. So, how do you ensure it doesn’t happen to you? There are some tips that can help you out:
- Avoid wire transfers and crypto payments
The problem with wire transfers and crypto transactions on Instagram is that you don’t have the option of chargebacks, which means these transactions are irreversible. If you check and notice that only two payment options are provided by the seller; cryptocurrency and wire transfer, it should be considered a red flag. If you wire money to the seller’s account, they could just freeze your account. Likewise, if you reveal confidential information, they could also freeze your crypto wallet. Plus, they could simply take your funds and disappear and you will not be able to do anything about it.
- Do a background check
Why would anyone sell a valuable and expensive product at an 80% discount? Some people argue that the seller may require money urgently, but this shouldn’t stop you from doing a background check. Other than offering the product at a discount, if the seller is asking money in the form of crypto and not accepting debit or credit card payments, then there are clear signs that something fishy is going on.
- Use a debit or credit card
Using cryptocurrency when purchasing anything on Instagram is extremely easy, especially when you have the opportunity of spending less on something valuable. The problem is that the consequences will be disastrous. Therefore, it is better to use debit or credit cards for making purchases. Sellers will often claim something along the lines of a problem with their bank account because they are changing banks and ask for payment in crypto coins. This is a trap because cards come with the option of chargeback and crypto doesn’t because the blockchain cannot be changed.
- Ask for pictures
Never fall for the images that are given on the seller’s Instagram handle. Always ask them to provide you with realistic pictures. It is not that difficult to spot the difference between real and edited images. If the photos don’t appear realistic, it is best to leave the deal or ask the seller to provide additional photos to your satisfaction. Take these steps and you will not have to worry about Instagram Bitcoin scams or any other crypto scam on social media.