Scammers tried at first to get you to wire money to them. Then, with gift cards, they demanded payment. Scammers are now luring people with Bitcoin, a form of digital money or cryptocurrency, to pay them. Read on to learn how to spot some of the top ways scammers try to get you to pay with Bitcoin and avoid them.
1. Scam with Blackmail. Someone says they know about an alleged affair, or something else embarrassing to you, and demands payments with Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency in exchange for keeping quiet. Threats, intimidation, and high-pressure techniques could be used by these scammers to get you to pay right away. But that’s not only a scam, as we wrote in this blog post, but also an attempt at criminal extortion. Report it at ftc.gov/complaint to the local police, the FBI, and the FTC.
2. Schemes for Online Chain Referral. This type of scam works like a chain letter: if you pay into the system, someone promises that you will make money. But, in a twist, these scammers say that you have to use cryptocurrency to pay for the right to recruit other people into the chain … so that more cryptocurrency will then reward you. Except that you won’t. You’re guaranteed to lose money instead.
3. Bogus opportunities for investment and business. Someone might offer you investment and business opportunities that promise, or give you financial freedom, to make you big cash. But remember, only a scammer will guarantee that you will make money — in dollars or in cryptocurrency.