How to spot cryptocurrency scams

This article was first published on Metal Blog

Every part of the finance industry has scammers out to get your hard-earned money. Wire fraud scams, counterfeit money, and bounced checks plague the traditional finance industry. When it comes to cryptocurrency, the scams look a little different.

You can’t counterfeit cryptocurrency. Checks don’t bounce in crypto, since funds can be verified on-chain. In cryptocurrency, scams look more like phishing attempts, fake airdrops, people after your private keys, social engineering, and impersonators. Let’s take a look at what these look like in the wild and how you can avoid them.

Phishing Attempts

A phishing attempt is when someone with bad intentions tries to get information from you by pretending to be someone else. In cryptocurrency, this often takes the form of a fake website or email address. Take a look at the difference between and – can you tell what’s wrong? In the first link, that’s our name. In the second link, the “L” in “Metal” was replaced with a capital “i”. Tricky, eh? That type of scam is all over the cryptocurrency industry. Had a scammer gained access to that domain, they could’ve mirrored our website perfectly, except for a few areas where they would ask for your information and gain access to your crypto. As a result, you’d risk losing it all.

Sometimes you may receive a phishing email; these often look the same as the fake web address: something in the email address will be a little off, but probably hard to spot. To ensure you don’t fall for a phishing attempt, avoid entering your personal or account information into a website if you simply clicked on a link. Rather, you should type the web address in yourself, carefully, to ensure you are reaching the right website.

Fake Airdrops

An “airdrop” ...

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