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Beware of Scammers! 7 Typical Crypto Market Scams


According to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), during the six months from October 2020 to March 31, 2021, citizens of the United States suffered losses of more than $80 million as a result of fraudulent schemes related to cryptocurrencies. And these numbers are only growing as the cryptocurrency market grows, there are more and more users, and newcomers are the perfect target for attackers.

Forewarned is forearmed, although awareness alone is not enough. The FTC highlights various types of cryptocurrency scams that have been especially popular among scammers.

Fraud Sites

Such web platforms often give the illusion of a profitable investment, but when you try to withdraw your funds, they may require additional tokens (for example, TRC20 USDT) to be deposited into your account. Ultimately, it ends up in a loss of money.

This type of scam includes fake emails, phishing sites, and fake mobile apps. Using such schemes, attackers can impersonate other persons, for example, a crypto exchange, in order to gain access to personal data of customers or fraudulently transfer money to their accounts.

Financial Pyramids

Sometimes scammers make massive efforts and launch large crypto projects that eventually turn into pyramid schemes. New participants are attracted by the promise of huge profits, but not immediately, but after a certain time.


As an example, we can mention the OneCoin project, which appeared in the mid-2010s and was launched by Ruja Ignatova, originally from Bulgaria. However, as a result, it turned out that OneCoin did not have a real blockchain technology, and the tokens were actually just a myth. In 2017, the exchange ceased operations without prior notice, and Ruzha Ignatova is still hiding from law enforcement agencies. The damage caused by the activities of OneCoin is estimated at $4 billion.

Advertising with Celebrities

Another method of the fraudulent scheme is the use of the image of famous personalities who promote, for example, the free distribution of cryptocurrency. Fraudsters often impersonate Elon Musk, Bill Gates, or Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Using modern technology to create a convincing fake video is not a difficult task, especially for a professional. The celebrity herself often finds out about the use of her image quite by accident.

Online Dating Platforms

If fraudulent advertising can be called an informational weapon of mass destruction, actions through dating sites are more like a melee weapon. Fraudsters use such platforms to establish trust with users, after which they begin to advertise a “promising” cryptocurrency. A fictitious partner offers to transfer a certain amount of money (usually in digital assets), promising to invest it in a promising project. However, in reality, these funds are never invested anywhere.

Fraudulent ICOs

ICO is fundraising from investors by selling cryptocurrency tokens. There are several varieties of ICO-related fraud, but their essence remains the same. Fraudsters attract investments from people, and then disappear without fulfilling their obligations.

In 2018, investors lost about $100 million due to fraudulent ICOs. The actions of scammers have greatly spoiled the reputation of such events, interest in them has fallen, and, accordingly, fraudulent schemes have become orders of magnitude smaller.


Unlike Ponzi schemers and ICO scammers, low-value alternative currency creators are not formally involved in the scam. The term “shitcoin” refers to a cryptocurrency that does not and never will have any real value.


If it is extremely simple, it is an analogue of the Doge meme-currency, but without the support of Elon Musk. To draw attention to the shitcoin, it is given a defiant name like Pussy, ASS and the like. There is even a coin with a frank name SCAM, the capitalization of which has temporarily risen to $70 million. Oddly enough, the creators of such coins do not even always strive to make money on inexperienced investors.

As a result, such investors invest in virtual currency, which initially had no value, but is worth a fraction of a cent. At this stage, more experienced investors often come into play, having free money to buy coins in large quantities. Their focus on the new currency sets off a chain reaction to attract newcomers. They then exit the trade, collecting profits before the value of the cryptocurrency collapses to near zero.

How to Avoid Being Scammed

According to statistics provided by the FTC, most often users aged 20 to 49 fall into cyber fraud networks. With older generations, this happens less frequently, but the average loss is almost twice as high.

Therefore, we strongly recommend that you thoroughly research each cryptocurrency before investing in it. It is better to buy coins on reliable cryptocurrency exchanges such as Obviously, with the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies, the number of dark personalities in this area will also grow.