What Can I do if I have been scammed?
If you’ve fallen prey to a crypto scam, here are the steps you should take. While there’s no guarantee that you’ll get your money back, timely reporting to authorities could help prevent more people from being scammed.
Find Your Transaction IDs (TXIDs)
Transaction IDS help investigators to “follow the money” and find out exactly where your crypto coins are moving. While investigations can be conducted without transaction IDs, knowing them will help any investigation and reduce possible complications.
A transaction ID (TXID) is typically a unique string of numbers and letters that represents a record of crypto movement from one adress to another, also referred to as the transaction. You can see it like a bank transaction, with the difference that wallets are public, and authorization happens through written code, rather then an entity approving them.
A hash identifies the date and time, sending address, receiving address, transaction amounts, fees, and more.Depending on which exchange or wallet you’ve used, you may need to dig deeper into your transaction information to find the transaction ID.
Write your narrative
Preparing a clean and concise narrative of your incident helps give your case real value and color, supporting an investigator’s understanding of the way funds have flowed.
Here’s some important information to include in your narrative:
– All TXIDs
- The private wallet (NOT the key!!!), and account info (exchange X etc.), from where you sent your crypto
- The perpetrators private wallet to which you believed you were sending your funds
- Any details you know about the scam or scammers (use these series of articles to identify and help frame your case)
How to spot a Crypto Scam (Red Flags)
Here are some tell-tale signs of a crypto scam:
- Promises to multiply your money
- Promises of free money
- Vague descriptions about where your money is going
- Large social media crypto schemes
- Contractual obligations that demand the locked holding of crypto without the ability to sell
- Obvious misspellings and typographical errors in emails, social media posts, and other communications
- Fake influencers, or claims of being (or having the endorsement of) a celebrity
- Psychological manipulation, such as extortion or blackmail
Do Your Own Research
A common mistake is rushing into an investment just because everyone else is doing it. Even if multiple sites suggest investing in a particular crypto asset, it’s always advisable to do your own thorough research (even if it’s through simple Google searches), as the risks are typically high.
Don’t Trust Anyone Blindly
While investing in crypto, you will encounter official crypto exchanges and projects as well as fake accounts and sites. When it comes to celebrities and influencers, it’s easy to get excited and believe DMs (direct messages) that promise good crypto returns. The golden rule is to always be skeptical about anyone and everyone. After all, it’s your hard-earned money that will be at stake if you trust the wrong person or company.
Secure Your Crypto Wallet
Since your wallet is the main storage unit for all your crypto assets, it’s important to secure your wallet with two-factor authentication (2FA) and complex passwords. It’s also essential to store your keys safely — and to avoid sharing them with anyone.
Check All URLs
While accessing crypto websites and exchanges, remember to check the URL thoroughly — especially if you hold funds on that site or are planning to move funds through that exchange. Even if a single letter or number is out of place, stop right there!
Reject Fee Offers
If a crypto offer requires an up-front fee, reject it immediately ― especially if the “offer” involves a fee to be paid in cryptocurrency. Many seemingly exciting investment opportunities in the crypto space are scams. Before you invest in anything, ensure that you check the company’s website to understand how they protect their customers. You can also check reviews from other investors for clearer direction.
The ever-increasing adoption of crypto comes with the challenge of sidestepping scammers and their heists. While there are some truly promising projects in the market, it’s safest to adhere to the old adage: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
If you come across a new project, take the time to do your own research, look for investor reviews, check closely for any inconsistencies or suspicious details — and pay heed to warnings from reputable sites and legal authorities. You must also take the right measures to ensure that your wallet is secured with multi-step authentication, and has strong security keys that are stored safely. Finally, never share your private key with untrusted parties.
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The information provided above is not financial advice but for educational and entertainment purposes. Please do your own due diligence or consult a financial advisor before investing in any digital assets.
All opinions expressed on Bitget’s Soapbox (also known as the ‘Soapbox’) are opinions of individual traders using the Bitget platform, and do not reflect the opinions of Bitget or its affiliate companies and partners. The Soapbox author’s opinions are based upon information they confirm to be reliable, but neither Bitget nor its affiliates warrant its complete accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such.