You’ve probably heard of cryptocurrency, the digital medium of exchange that has become a darling of social media influencers. You don’t need to be a crypto investor to know that there’s no such thing as easy money and that crypto, in particular, is an especially risky investment.
An advertisement for Meta cryptocurrency circulating on social media has been proven to be a scam. There is no such currency, and scammers will take any investment in it. Tap or click here for more information.
As with any investment, cryptocurrency profits can be lost as fast as they’re gained. This is particularly true when your investment is part of an unregulated system, as is the case with crypto. One investor found out the hard way.
Before we dive in, this is not financial advice. Cryptocurrency is inherently risky, and you should never invest money you are not willing to lose.
Gone in a flash
No matter how experienced an investor you are, crypto is a risk. Bitcoin and other digital currencies can have massive fluctuations over the course of a day. A single high-profile social media user can cause prices to rise or tumble in a short time.
Losing your money to the market’s mood is one thing, but you also have to worry about cybercriminals coming after your investment. One investor, who describes himself as “pretty knowledgeable on all things related crypto/blockchain,” took to Reddit to tell his story of loss as a warning to others.
Reddit user PowerOfTheGods said he’d been investing in crypto since 2016 and kept investments safe in a physical crypto wallet (Ledger Nano S) in addition to four Metamask digital hot wallets. Tap or click here for more details on crypto wallets.
Last December, he checked his accounts to find that all of his wallets were empty. The currency was valued at more than $120,000 at the time.
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PowerOfTheGods attributed the loss to a malicious link he clicked on while surfing the web. A trojan took control of his Google Chrome browser or Metamask extension while his ledger was unlocked. He never received a prompt, and it seemed that the wallets were wiped in minutes.
The investor reported the crime to local authorities and the FBI. Due to its unregulated nature, it’s not like filing a complaint with a bank. The digital currency is gone.
In an update to his post, PowerOfTheGod wrote that others have reached out after experiencing a similar hack.
What you can do
Anyone looking to dip their toe into crypto needs to take precautions. Aside from its volatility, crypto makes for a juicy target for scammers and hackers. Here are some tips to stay safe:
- Be wary of any online ads for crypto, particularly on social media. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Don’t click on links and attachments that you receive in unsolicited emails or messages.
- Spelling and grammar errors are red flags.
- Use two-factor authentication and password managers for all online accounts that offer the feature.
- Before you buy crypto, read Kim’s book on the subject: Cryptocurrency 101: Beginner’s guide to buying, selling, and spending digital currency the safe way. Kim covers topics like the importance of your password, buying and storing currency and how to keep track of the market.
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