The Scam Sites

Many digital cryptocurrency scammers have two claims: They’ll send you some bitcoin, or a lot of it. And they’ll ask for your private key, which protects your personal bitcoin. In the latter case, you’ll send your private key and once you do, you’ll be put on a collision course with losing your investment. In either case, you’ll never receive the bitcoins or your private key.

One type of scammer offers you bitcoin as soon as you click on their ad, often without actually giving you bitcoin. They also show you how to send them bitcoin on their website and even use your own payment method to make the transaction. You may end up transferring bitcoin to a scammer’s address instead of to their startup. Don’t fall for it.

How to tell if a site is legit?

Watch out for a few common warning signs to identify a scam:

  • A company with a phone number that doesn’t include an area code.
  • An “exclusive” contest where the prize is only offered to those who register online.
  • A nondescript home address.
  • A long list of company executives and executives.

You should never click on a link sent to you in an email or text, or download a file you can’t verify. You should never wire money or buy cryptocurrency in a private transaction. You should always do research to be sure your funds will be safe with the company. If you need help, consider contacting Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker.

There’s no shortage of crypto-related scams out there.

How to avoid the scams

Avoid these common scams:

IPO spam

Startups will email you requesting money to help you take advantage of a new IPO. The email will claim you’ll make money on this IPO by taking a small fraction of the total amount raised. If you send money, they’ll ask for more money later, and you’ll never see the money again. You may get a stock certificate in the mail.

Virtual reality scam

VR startup emails will claim that you can earn money as soon as the product is launched or the company is profitable. There are no actual VR headsets, hardware or software. In fact, the most common tools to start selling virtual reality games or applications are Unity and Unity Pro programs.

Remember to always do your research before sending any money.


Once scammers get you interested in what they’re doing, the thought of gaining riches sounds seductive. However, it’s easy to get fooled. There’s a lot of misinformation about cryptocurrencies, and scammers are more than willing to exploit these concerns. If a particular cryptocurrency or the Bitcoin blockchain platform interests you, it’s best to do a little research on your own before you invest your money.

At some point, you’re going to want to cash out some of your cryptocurrency savings, if only to pay your bills. Don’t wait too long to sell – a major price crash will damage your portfolio. That’s the main risk of investing.