Investing in crypto can be exhilarating and scary at the same time. Massive fluctuations in the price of Bitcoin have had many glued to the trading boards. If you invested just $10 in Bitcoin in 2010, that would be worth approximately $10.3 million today. Tap or click here for 12 questions you’re too embarrassed to ask about Bitcoin.
It’s not always been a smooth ride. Many investors rejoiced when the price for one Bitcoin jumped from $2 to $32 in 2011. But in October that year, many traders lost most of their value when the price came crashing down, wiping out 99% of the value to just one penny.
To say that cryptocurrency trading is volatile is an understatement. If you are new to it, there are some dangerous practices you must steer clear of. Keep reading for ways to protect your money.
Here’s the backstory
When you first get into cryptocurrencies, you’ll need to set up a digital wallet. It works like a real-world wallet, and it’s the central space where you keep all your money. To access your wallet, you must create a passphrase or password.
This is the only way to secure your account and is as valuable as your bank card PIN. If you lose it, there is a real possibility that you’ll never get it back. So, if hackers get a hold of your password through a scam, you’re in jeopardy.
Now hackers are using a different tactic to steal crypto details. They have started employing phishing attacks through Google Ads.
How this crypto scam works
Check Point Research (CPR) investigated the theft of over $500,000 worth of cryptocurrency in a matter of days. All results pointed to hackers using Google Ads in search results to lure inexperienced traders into divulging their passwords.
Criminals buy advertising for digital wallets that impersonate trusted providers like Phantom App, MetaMask and Pancake Swap. Once a potential victim clicks on the link in the Google ad, it takes them to a phishing page that has been set up to seem like the real deal.
“From here, the scammers tricked their victims into giving up their wallet passwords, setting the stage for wallet theft. In what appears to be a new trend, multiple scamming groups are now bidding for wallet-related keywords on Google Ads, using Google Search as an attack vector to target victims’ crypto wallets,” CPR explained in a blog post.
Over one weekend, CPR found 11 digital wallets had been compromised, with each of them containing crypto between $1,000 and $10,000.
How to be crypto smart
The best thing you can do, even before you start trading, is get Kim’s eBook Cryptocurrency 101: The Beginner’s Guide to Buying, Selling and Spending Digital Currency the Safe Way.
Here’s are some more tips on how to stay safe:
- Always make sure that you are on the actual webstie for your digital wallet by closely examining the URL. If something seems out of place, don’t enter details.
- Never give out your passphrase or password to anyone.
- Only use trusted digital wallet providers. Do some research through forums and reviews and ask others which wallets to use.
- If you see an ad that looks enticing, don’t click on it. Insted, go to the website directly.
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