How to spot and avoid online scams in 2021
How to spot and avoid online scams in 2021

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The cryptocurrency industry is gaining traction worldwide and is becoming more mainstream every day. Unfortunately, this development also provides scammers and fraudsters with more opportunities to trick you into sending your cryptocurrencies or funds their way - never to be recovered. The security of your assets is essential for us at Bitpanda and that is why we are doing everything in our power to protect your funds. However, educating yourself about possible scams that you might encounter online is also important for safeguarding your cryptocurrencies. Just like last year, we have prepared a guide for you on how to spot and avoid online scams in 2021. We hope it will be helpful.

We already talked about this issue last year in this article . You can also find similar articles here and here , as well as on our Bitpanda Academy . Additionally, in this lesson, you can learn how to spot ICO scams and what cryptojacking is . Today, we have prepared an updated version for you.

When you’re dealing with money and any type of online transaction with regard to assets, you need to be extra careful to spot external threats such as scams and fraud. Unfortunately, social media is a popular roaming ground for fraudsters and scammers. Fraudsters might pretend that they are operating on behalf of our official Bitpanda accounts such as Telegram, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and claim to be admins for Bitpanda social media accounts. They may even create fake Bitpanda accounts which are very similar to our official Bitpanda accounts.

At Bitpanda, we are always trying to react as quickly as possible to uncover and put an end to scams and fraud. However, there is not much we can do if a scammer contacts you privately. Therefore, please pay close attention to the examples below to be better prepared in case this situation should occur.

1.Pay close attention to our official Bitpanda social media channels

Unfortunately, there are many fake accounts mimicking our official Bitpanda accounts - and they might look very similar! These fake accounts tend to promote giveaways and various promotions publicly or even message our users directly. You can find an example of a fake Bitpanda account below:

How to spot and avoid online scams in 2021

Note: This is an image of a FAKE Bitpanda account

You can easily recognise the fake accounts by ensuring that you are only following our official accounts. Don’t forget to search for the blue tick sign, which means that the account is verified, as well as looking for our official handles.

Find us on Twitter:

We are also available on Facebook:

You can also follow our updates on Instagram:

We are also on Reddit and Telegram:
Official Telegram groups

If you are in doubt and the account handle does not match one of our accounts, you can be sure that you are dealing with a fake account.

If you encounter a fake Bitpanda page, we kindly ask you to always block it and report it to the respective social media platform.

2. Be careful of giveaways

Scammers often post various promotions and giveaways on their fake social media accounts or in the comments section of legitimate Bitpanda posts. While our Bitpanda community support closely monitors the comments section, it can be the case that these scams appear online for a short period of time until they are removed.

Furthermore, scammers might also contact you directly via a direct message or share your profile picture. The fraudsters might also ask you to click on a link and login or to send them assets through scam wallet addresses and usually promise you larger rewards in return.

Normally, these scams might look like this:

How to spot and avoid online scams in 2021

Note: This is an image of a FAKE Bitpanda giveaway announcement.

Please, be aware that Bitpanda will never ask you to send any funds to any address in order to offer you more funds. Similarly, Bitpanda admins will never contact you privately via direct message in order to announce a giveaway.

All our Bitpanda giveaways are announced publicly on our official accounts and Bitpanda will never ask you to send your funds anywhere.

3. Watch out for the Telegram scams

If you are a regular Telegram user, you probably already know the struggle. Let’s say you have just joined one of the official Bitpanda groups and someone claiming to work for Bitpanda sends you a private message. In this common scenario, the scammers will ask you to click on a link to an external chat or a Phishing site that looks exactly like Bitpanda so that they can steal your login information.
Sometimes, the scammers will also ask you for your email address under the pretence that they want to help you, whereas in reality they are trying to find new phishing targets.

This scam could look like this:

How to spot and avoid online scams in 2021

Note: This is an image of a FAKE private message.

As it might be confusing for you that the names of the scamming “admins” look just like the names of official admins, we want you to know that Bitpanda admins will never contact you via private message on Telegram. You can be sure that every admin or Helpdesk account that contacts you privately via Telegram is an impersonator.

Furthermore, another way to find out if you’re dealing with a fake admin is with an automatic message. If you were to contact one of our Bitpanda admins, you will always receive an automatic message informing you that our official Bitpanda admins will never contact you or answer you via private message. However, if you’re dealing with an imposter, they will answer you and will try to get your data.

The automatic reply from Bitpanda might look like this:

How to spot and avoid online scams in 2021

Furthermore, you can recognise official Bitpanda admins by the grey “admin” title on the right side of their name in all groups. If you think someone may be impersonating a Bitpanda admin, you can click on the user's name and look for the @username handle. However, some scammers might add a “fake” username to their Telegram bio in order to deceive potential victims, as you can see in the image below. Please be aware that it is a fake profile.

How to spot and avoid online scams in 2021

Note: This is an image of a FAKE profile.

You can see what the official admin sign should look like here:

How to spot and avoid online scams in 2021

You can find the full list of all the Bitpanda admins who are active on Telegram here:

•  @clemens_bitpanda
•  @christian_bitpanda
•  @dennis_bitpanda
•  @milan_bitpanda
•  @marc_bitpanda
•  @max_bitpanda
•  @hatice_bitpanda
•  @osman_bitpanda
•  @amanda_bitpanda
•  @eda_bitpanda
•  @bugra_bitpanda
•  @dominik_bitpanda
•  @jeff_bitpanda
•  @frank_bitpanda

After all this, we hope we didn’t demotivate you from joining one of our official Telegram groups. Joining the Bitpanda Telegram group is the best way to stay up to date and to discuss Bitpanda-related topics with our community. With this blog post, we want to make sure that all new joiners are safe on Telegram and can enjoy the discussions in our vivid community. Remember you can also communicate with our admins, just make sure to tag them and write publicly in one of our official groups.

If you have your account on Bitpanda, you have probably already received emails from us updating you on recent news and announcements.

Unfortunately, there is a possibility that you might receive so-called phishing emails in between. Phishing emails are emails from scammers that are pretending to represent legitimate companies with a goal to scam users. These emails will be similar to direct messages through social media. The scammers would usually ask you for your personal information such as your login, password, private keys etc. in order to gain access to your account.

Please be aware when it comes to your personal email, the same rule applies as for social media - Bitpanda will never ask you to send your funds anywhere.

You should also try to make sure you don't download any questionable attachments in emails. You could be downloading malware - malicious mining software that uses your computer’s processing power. Once the hackers have access to your computer, they can see anything you’re typing, including all of your passwords and codes by using keylogging software.

You should apply the same caution to the links included in the email. Please be aware that Bitpanda does not use any shortened links and when you visit the Bitpanda website, you can check the URL by clicking on the padlock on the left in the URL bar to view the valid certificate.

This is what you should see:

How to spot and avoid online scams in 2021

5. Don’t fall for “job offer scams”

If you have ever uploaded your resume online, you might also be contacted by scammers with fake job offers. Fake recruiters tend to gather personal and financial information from you.
What might follow is that these scammers could ask you to deposit money into your bank account and then forward it to another account through Bitpanda or another platform as a so-called “product tester”. Please be aware that any legitimate business will not ask you to use your personal account for business purposes and this scam might involve you in money laundering.

6. Be cautious and don’t be afraid to ask

Remember to always keep your software up to date and make sure your passwords are strong. Also, it is great if you regularly do your own research to stay on top of the latest scams.

Finally, we would like to remind you that you can always contact us at Bitpanda via our social media channels or the Bitpanda contact form in case anything is unclear or if you have any doubts. Be sceptical and never disclose your personal information to a third party.

Make sure you stay safe on the internet!

How to spot and avoid online scams in 2021
DexStrats 6 September, 2021
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