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Strategies to Protect Yourself from Investment Scams

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Before anyone invests even a cent of their money, they should employ several safety practices. Known as cyber hygiene, these actions can put a stop to scammers before losing funds becomes a possibility. 

The foundation of cyber hygiene in the modern internet era is multi-factor authentication (MFA). It is one of the most effective and valuable ways to protect an account on any website or application. Usually, it involves entering a username and password, along with a code from another device. For example, many crypto exchanges require users to input their password AND a code sent to their mobile phone. Actions may also include authenticator apps like Authy or Google Authenticator, verifying an email address or answering a security question. 

A trusted password manager can be a great idea, as they allow investors to use various complex passwords rather than relying on one (and creating a single point of failure). Hardware password managers like OnlyKey are the cream of the crop, but digital options such as NordPass, BitWarden and 1Password are good too.  

Finally, consider using a cyber safety platform – such as Chainabuse – which may have additional advice to ensure investing is as safe as possible for all.  

Did You Know?

Chainabuse offers a free Safety Center which includes tips to avoid investment scams, including how to manage a custodial wallet and how to double-check domains.

How to verify information 

It’s all well and good to know how to identify scams. But sometimes, these schemes can look so legitimate that it’s difficult to know for sure. That’s why learning to conduct independent research is so important for navigating the investment markets.  

The first guard against investment scams is always checking URLs, emails, bank details and crypto wallet addresses before making any transactions. Many scammers will use details almost identical to a legitimate business (for example, Binance.net instead of the actual site, Binance.com). 

Chainabuse is the leading platform to report malicious crypto activity worldwide. It allows every user to report their case – Chainabuse receives hundreds of reports daily (there are half a million to scroll through), and in many cases, scams were initially reported on Chainabuse before gaining broader attention. Customers can also use the platform to check addresses and URLs to see if they’ve been reported. 

National governments likely also have their own branch of cyber safety dedicated to preventing scams across the investment and financial sectors. In Australia, this body is known as Scamwatch, and the website has several excellent resources for preventing and identifying scams. 

What to do if you’ve been scammed? 

Unfortunately, getting scammed as an investor is a very real possibility – especially for newcomers to the cryptocurrency markets. Acting quickly will give victims the best chance at recouping their lost funds, preventing others from falling prey and catching the perpetrators.  

There are several simple ways to report being a scamming victim. Starting with a government agency like Scamwatch is a good idea and only requires users to fill out a straightforward form. Scamwatch will have a direct link with law enforcement and can collate independent reports to end the investment scam. 

Chainabuse.com is the leading reporting platform for malicious crypto activity. It allows every victim of a crypto scam to report their case and opt-in for free personalised support, including what to do next. Chainabuse partners with top organisations to enhance user safety, allows everyone to check wallet addresses and URLs, and helps law enforcement accelerate investigations.  

Reporting to Chainabuse and Scamwatch gives victims the widest net of potential solutions and ensures local cyber police can act quickly. With enough luck, the scammers will be apprehended and the money will be returned to its rightful owners. In certain instances – depending on if a third party facilitated the investment scam – that business will be liable and compensate its customers regardless of whether the scammer is stopped. As tempting as it may be to skip through, ensure to read the terms and conditions of every investment platform before registering an account and parting with any money. 

Disclaimer: The information on Swyftx Learn is for general educational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice, personal recommendation, or an offer of, or solicitation to, buy or sell any assets. It has been prepared without regard to any particular investment objectives or financial situation and does not purport to cover any legal or regulatory requirements. Customers are encouraged to do their own independent research and seek professional advice. Swyftx makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content. Any references to past performance are not, and should not be taken as a reliable indicator of future results. Make sure you understand the risks involved in trading before committing any capital. Never risk more than you are prepared to lose. Consider our Terms of Use and Risk Disclosure Statement for more details.

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