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How to Identify Scams and Protect Yourself?

March 3, 2020

Scams target people of all backgrounds. Scammers succeed because what they propose to you seems real, but usually, it is too good to be true. At SwissBorg, we want to educate the community not only about finance and wealth management but also about safety and other topics relevant to you. Here are a few tips that should help you to avoid getting scammed.

When contacted by a person or a business institution over the phone, by email, or on a social platform, always consider the possibility that it may be a scam. Be sceptical and do not take offers at face value.

The most common scams

    1. Phishing Scams

Phishing is a type of scam that attempts to trick you into willingly giving over your personal information that can then be used for malicious purposes.

  • Impersonating a website or service

One of the easiest scams to fall for is clicking on a link that you think will take you to a website (like an online wallet or exchange) but instead takes you to a clone. The fake site will ask you for your login credentials, and/or some other personal information, and will then be able to sign in to your account on the real site, potentially stealing any available cryptos. So, when looking at a website be sure to check the URL and see that it has a lock symbol and that the website address is correct and does not have anything strange before the https part, if the address HTTP does not have an S at the end it means the site does not have a security certificate. This doesn’t mean the site is necessarily a scam, but you will know to be more careful.

  • Sending fake emails to obtain information

Who has not received the classic email from some prince of Nigeria who really needs help in making an urgent bank transfer? Similar to the previous example many crypto scammers will send fake emails trying to acquire your personal details. They will often craft emails to look like they are coming from an official source, and ask for you to ‘confirm’ your details. So of course, once this happens, they have full access to whatever is in that account.

ether wallet phishing email


    2. Social Media Scams

Impersonating well-known people/companies. Hopefully, most of you would recognize this pretty quickly as something that’s too good to be true. The social media platforms of legitimate companies like Binance (below) are copied in an effort to acquire access to your personal information or wallet through impersonating the legitimate company. This can happen with a social media handle that is similar but slightly different than the official one.


binance phishing scam

Also, you may check our video on how to spot scam pages on Social Networks:

    3. Ponzi or Pyramid Scams

A Ponzi scheme is a business model that relies on members earning money based on the investment of new members rather than selling any actual products or services. The name originated with Charles Ponzi, who promised 50% returns on investments in only 90 days.

Two famous examples:

  • Bernie Madoff pled guilty to the largest Ponzi scheme in history. He successfully swindled investors out of $65 billion in 2009
  • Bitconnect with people pouring their life savings into the company after being guaranteed incredible daily and weekly returns.

The bigger the schemes grow the more unsustainable they become.

Common sense and/or a quick web search can keep you from losing your funds, so be smart and when it is too-good-to-be-true be careful. There is no such thing as free lunch!


How to protect yourself from scams?

  • Don’t click on links in emails from anybody you don’t trust. Also, double-check the sender’s email address to make sure the email is actually coming from whom it says it’s from.
  • Use two-factor authentication wherever available. This will protect your accounts from unauthorized logins even if the scammers have stolen your passwords.
  • Never share your personal information. When you are contacted by someone whether it’s over the phone, by email, or on social media, do not provide them with your Private Key, banking and credit card information, your birthdate, and Social Security/Social Insurance numbers.
  • Do not pay in advance. Usually, scammers promise you gains or tell you that you have won something but you have to pay taxes or fees in advance, most likely they just want to take your money.
  • If you received a very attractive offer but you have doubts, take some time to think it over and talk to someone you trust. If you are pressured to act immediately, as scammers typically try to make you think something is scarce or on a limited time offer, take your time to discuss it with a family member, friend, or financial advisor.

If you are not sure about the offer you’ve received, it is better to contact our support agents to check with them. You can contact us through the SwissBorg Community app or visit our Help Centre to make a request.

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