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Crypto Scams: What they are, how to recognise them and stay safe

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Crypto investment, like many other investment options, is not without risks.

Crypto Scams: What they are, how to recognise them and stay safe
Cryptocurrency popularity is scaling dizzying heights, with India now reportedly having the highest number of crypto owners in the world at over 10 crore, as per reports. But, before you jump on the crypto bandwagon it is important to know that crypto investment, like many other investment options, is not without risks.
Along with popularity, crypto scams are also on the rise with reports pegging losses by Indian investors to crypto scams and frauds at millions of dollars.
So how do crypto scams work, Is there a way to spot these scams and how can you safeguard against such frauds? Read on to know answers to some of these questions so you stay safe while exploring the crypto world.
Here are some common crypto scams prevalent across the country:
Giveaway Scams
One of the most common crypto scams in the country is the use of giveaways or free prizes. Everyone loves winning a reward, and scammers take advantage of this. Often these types of schemes will try to get your authentication information by offering a reward or a prize. Many of these scams will find you through social media.
In one such scam recently, the scammers posed as ZebPay, one of India's leading crypto trading platforms offering free bitcoins to anyone on social media willing to give one bitcoin to start off the transaction.
Safety tip: The best way to avoid getting scammed is to ask a simple question "Is it too good to be true?" if the answer is yes, then it may be a scam.
Fake Tech Support
Fake tech support scams are easy to fall prey to. The scammers impersonate a company's support phone lines and social media. This gives them an air of legitimacy in the eyes of people. Then they often ask for your security codes and passwords.
Safety tip: To avoid this scam, you should be aware of the correct social media handles and support numbers of the platform or company you use to trade coins. Remember, never share your passwords or security information even with the proper authority. Like banks, exchanges will never ask for your personal information.
Fishing Scams
In this scam, a fake site set up by the scammers will try to trick you into giving sensitive information. These sites will often look legitimate. Scammers will also send emails purporting to be from official exchanges.
Safety tip: Do not open emails from unverified sources and bookmark the sites you use to trade crypto to avoid these scams.
What you should do if you were scammed
While the legal status of cryptocurrency is uncertain, the Indian Penal Code and other laws are well equipped to handle cryptocurrency frauds and scams. If you had the misfortune of being scammed, all you must do is report it like any other fraud, and the relevant authorities will handle it.
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