An alleged $1.36 billion worth of various cryptocurrencies has been stolen by fraudsters in just the first two months of 2018. And while the ICO craze continues to run with full force, now more than ever we need to address the gravity of the issue and outline the ways you can stay protected.
Cash is Being Burned
It’s no secret that cryptocurrencies are still a fragile target for digital theft, fraud, hacking, and phishing attempts. Some of the most prominent recent heists include the attack against Coincheck where hackers took off with almost as much as $500 million, the Bitconnect exit scam which estimates a loss of nearly $250 million. Let’s not forget the BitGrail attack – an Italian exchange which reported a loss of almost $195 worth of virtual tokens.
And while Carlos Matos’ “wassa wassa wassup” speech might have been amusing for unrelated viewers, investors in Bitconnect are certainly far from having the time of their lives.
The important thing to acknowledge here is that scams happen. And, apparently, they happen at a speed of $9 million per day.
The Good News
The good news – and yes, there is good news – is that there is a lot you can do to stay protected and there are plenty of promising projects hitting the market every day. The harsh truth is that ICO scams happen because of a lack of knowledge and/or failure to implement necessary protective measures.
The general public is yet to be educated on the fairly new subject that is blockchain and the technologies built on top of it.
So, the best thing you can do is your homework. Before you put your money into “the next big thing”, get your due-diligence done. Spend some time reading through the presented documentation – does the concept appeal to you? Is it legitimate? What has been done already? Is the team behind the project reliable and experienced? These are the kind of questions you should get an answer to.
Put the project you’re interested in under the microscope and narrow it down to the tiniest detail.
Furthermore, make sure that all of your wallet passwords and private keys are stored offline. Print them out and lock them somewhere in your home. Pick the cryptocurrency exchanges you trade on carefully after going through numerous reviews from credible sources.
Be reasonable when you’re dealing with cryptocurrencies and ICOs, and remember – if it looks like a scam, it most probably is!
How do you spot cryptocurrency and ICO scams? What does your research include? Let us know – we’d love to hear your take on this.
Images courtesy of Pixabay, AdobeStock
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