Buying anything on the internet is not without risk, but if you follow a few simple guidelines, you can easily avoid the most common scams. Here's a few things to be aware of:
The email or website may look real, but is in fact fake, and any personal or credit card details you enter will be recorded and used against you. This is called phishing.
- Think before you click. It's very easy to make a link look real. Instead, use your browser bookmark or type in the address yourself.
- Verify the website's security. Before submitting any details, make sure that the site's URL begins with https and look for a closed lock icon 🔒 in the address bar.
- Be suspicious. If a person or service you're familiar suddenly behaves differently than expected, you can always contact them in another media and confirm that they did this.
Fake phone support
In some cases, customers are mislead to believe they are talking to the phone support of (for example) Coinmama. Remember:
- Your computer is not hacked! No legit company will ever call to tell you that your computer is compromised.
- Be careful with giving up personal details. Real support representatives may ask for a single personal detail to confirm your identity, but will rarely ask for more.
- Look out for a high sense of urgency. In hopes of getting your payment before you have a chance to think it through, scammers will often be in a hurry 🔥. Take whatever time you need to understand exactly what they want and why.
Know that Coinmama does not provide phone support. If you're not sure, read our article on how to contact us.
If you're considering using a product or service that you haven't heard of before, here's a few things to look out for:
- Reputation. A scam merchant will likely have a long list of angry victims calling them out. It only takes a couple of minutes to search for a name or company and see what others are writing about it.
- Spelling errors. Scams come and go fast, and often don't have the time (or capacity) to build a polished product. If a website is full of grammatical errors and inconsistencies, it's cause for suspicion.
New scams appear all the time, and nobody has the full list. Having said that, here are some of the more known scams that are currently terrorizing the cryptocurrency industry:
- Account managers and brokers. Pretending to keep your interests at heart, these so-called account managers, investment bankers and brokers will obtain your details and, after a while, abuse it. Make sure you've done your research before letting someone manage your crypto assets for you
- Airbnb. If someone is asking you to pay an Airbnb rent or deposit in crypto, you're being scammed. Airbnb does not support crypto payments
- Amazon. If you're trying to cancel your Amazon Prime or get a refund, know that Amazon will never ask for your card details over the phone, and also does not support crypto payments
To find out about more common scams, read on.