How to Spot and Avoid Bitcoin Ponzi Schemes: According to a Stanford Center on Longevity study, one in ten adults in the US fall prey to fraud or scams each year. According to Chainalysis’ 2020 Crypto Crime Report, scammers stole about $4.30 billion worth of bitcoin from millions of people worldwide in 2019. It’s interesting to note that Bitcoin Ponzi schemes accounted for 92% of this sum.
A Ponzi scheme then, is Bitcoin? Why do so many individuals fall for a Ponzi scheme and what exactly is one? Let’s analyze everything you need to know about it and discover how to avoid any potential attacks in the world of cryptography.
What is a Ponzi scheme?
Ponzi schemes are a sort of investment scam that tries to draw in and enlist numerous investors. To learn more about the person who devised this plan and how it was carried out, let’s take a trip down memory lane.
Charles Ponzi: The mind behind the notorious investment fraud
How to Spot and Avoid Bitcoin Ponzi Schemes: The term “Ponzi scheme” was named after the perpetrator of a significant fraud in the 1920s. Charles Ponzi, a confidence scammer, guaranteed his customers 100% extravagant profits in three months or a 50% profit within 45 days by purchasing inexpensive International Reply Coupons (IRC) abroad and selling them at the going rate in the US.
He paid early investors with money from later investors’ investments to make his investment scam appear genuine; in other words, these investors weren’t really benefiting from Ponzi’s business activities. However, because every investor was able to benefit from Ponzi in believable amounts at first, there was nothing dubious about the plan.
Before the scam was discovered, he was successful in fooling many individuals for more than a year, costing Ponzi’s “investors” $20 million. It’s interesting to note that Ponzi wasn’t the originator of this style of financial fraud; it dates back to the 1830s. However, the plan came to be closely associated with him as a result of effectively managing the enormous illegal investment operations, hence the term.
How do Ponzi schemes work in the crypto world?
How to Spot and Avoid Bitcoin Ponzi Schemes: In Ponzi schemes, con artists devise a business strategy that makes money by luring investors. Fraudsters use the money they get from new investors to pay off their existing investors since this type of scheme needs a steady supply of cash to function. By doing this, investors are seduced by the promise of gains from the company they backed. In actuality, though, they’re just wasting their money.
As soon as fraudsters find it difficult to lure in new investors and persuade them to cash in, the days of steady and enormous earnings will come to an end. The same tactics are used to fool people in the crypto sector as they are in various businesses and industries today.
Cryptocurrencies and Ponzi schemes
How to Spot and Avoid Bitcoin Ponzi Schemes: According to YouGov’s poll, 81% of Americans, or eight out of ten, are aware of at least one sort of cryptocurrency, with BTC being the most well-known. In 2019, about 18% of all Americans made cryptocurrency purchases, and 35% of them are millennials. Popular companies are now beginning to accept cryptocurrency payments, which contributes to the growing acceptance of this digital invention.
These data points demonstrate the exponential growth of cryptocurrency users around the world, therefore it is understandable that fraudsters would target this developing sector, particularly the most popular coin of the day. Decentralization, volatility, and other desirable characteristics of bitcoin make it the perfect asset for market investors. However, scammers are also aware of Bitcoin’s beauty. They are therefore attempting to profit from it, although in a completely different manner.
The good news is that there are many techniques to spot these frauds.
How can I spot a Bitcoin Ponzi scheme?
How to Spot and Avoid Bitcoin Ponzi Schemes: Although it can be challenging, uncovering bitcoin Ponzi schemes is not impossible. Here are seven typical warning signs to look out for in an investment opportunity to assist you spot such frauds.
1. Investments with little to no risk
It’s critical to understand that investing has some dangers. The general rule among investors is “The higher the risk, the greater the reward.” However, con artists could guarantee you low- to no-risk large investment returns. So it’s probable that you are being recruited into a Ponzi scheme if you are presented with a comparable proposal that seems too good to be true.
2. Overly consistent returns
Investment profits aren’t always consistent because market fluctuations are unexpected. Be cautious when making investments that produce steady returns despite volatile market conditions because the price of bitcoin might move either up or down.
3. Unregulated businesses or firms
Investments conducted by fraudsters are frequently unregistered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). They can thus boldly carry out their evil objectives while remaining undetected.
4. Unlicensed individuals
Federal and state securities rules stipulate that investment professionals must hold a license. However, the majority of cryptocurrency Ponzi scams involve unlicensed individuals managing investment businesses and offering financial guidance.
5. Business strategies that are secretive and hard to understand
Especially with cryptocurrency, investing may be exciting. However, if the investment sounds complicated and the advisor or recruiter can’t adequately describe the company to you, it may be time to look into alternative options.
6. Problems with documents
Watch out for justifications involving paperwork. Investors who request the information in writing in some bitcoin Ponzi schemes are met with responses that are not satisfactory. Be sure to thoroughly read the fine print and keep an eye out for any potential errors in the account statements. Although it’s not always the case, mistakes could be a symptom of fraud.
7. Issues with receiving payments
If you’re having problems withdrawing your cryptocurrency investment funds or if you haven’t received payment, be dubious. With the promise of even greater investment returns, some con artists frequently persuade their victims to “rollover” or postpone the payments.
How can I protect myself from crypto Ponzi schemes?
How to Spot and Avoid Bitcoin Ponzi Schemes: Although exit scams, pyramid schemes, and other types of fraud involving bitcoin are common, you can always avoid them. You can take the following actions, for example:
1. Familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of Bitcoin
If you’re new to the world of cryptocurrencies, make sure you do your homework to understand what Bitcoin is and how it functions before making an investment. As a general guideline, avoid investing in something you don’t fully comprehend.
2. Check the credibility of crypto investment firms
As we previously indicated, unregistered businesses and advisors frequently play a part in Bitcoin Ponzi schemes. Never forget to research a person or company’s reputation before investing large sums of your money with them. You must ensure that your hard-earned funds are in the correct hands because this involves your money.
3. Seek help from a professional
If an opportunity comes from unknown people, you can always ask for advice from financial managers or attorneys you know and trust. This can assist you in determining whether to proceed with the cryptocurrency investment or not.
What should I do if I fall victim to a Ponzi scheme?
How to Spot and Avoid Bitcoin Ponzi Schemes: One of the scams that individuals are most prone to fall into is this one. Therefore, if you believe you may have been a victim, contact investment fraud attorneys, the SEC, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), or your state securities regulator as soon as possible to report the occurrence and obtain the assistance you require.
File a case with Cyberspac3 for your funds recovery.
Don’t let your guard down!
Everyone wants easy money, let’s face it. Because of this, many people continue to fall for bitcoin pyramid schemes and other forms of fraud. False promises made by “get rich quick” schemes continue to deceive a lot of individuals. Therefore, resist falling for these confidence-boosting con artists.