While traders are shying away from conventional investment venues such as indices, commodities and forex, other, more unorthodox investment venues are gaining popularity. However, no venue has enjoyed such a rise in demand in these COVID-19 times as Bitcoin has. The reason is pretty obvious: As opposed to regular currencies or even stocks, this cryptocurrency is less exposed to the economic backlash of the pandemic.
However, this grand opportunity also sadly comes hand in hand with a risk. As Bitcoin becomes more and more popular, endless dubious online trading sites offer a chance to invest in it and reap profits – or at least that’s what they claim, since at the end of the day you are left with no money, and nobody to talk to.
Bitcoin scams – some background
Cryptocurrencies have been easy prey for online crooks ever since they became widespread. These digital coins are not connected to any bank or country, so it’s much harder to trace them once they are stolen. It’s also the reason why many hackers prefer to demand ransom from their victims with these coins.
However, we’re talking about another category of bitcoin scams. This time, numerous websites are taking advantage of the soar in the Bitcoin’s rate (which has reached an all-time high) in order to try and persuade investors to buy and sell Bitcoin. It all seems honest at first and the investor even sees profits, but at some point they start losing big sums.
When the investor decides to cut their losses and call it quits, that’s when the broker disappears. Nobody answers phones or emails and the same broker that used to be at the investor’s disposal 24/7 goes completely off the grid. However, even in this situation all is not lost for the victim and their money – read on if you want to learn more.
Avoiding this scam is naturally easier than trying to get your money back once it’s been stolen. Generally, a whole lot of these sites are dishonest, so buying Bitcoin somewhere else is preferred. There are Bitcoin ATMs, where you can buy and sell the token using cash. You can also find buyers and sellers of Bitcoin online on websites which are not trading sites, such as Coinbase.
If you choose to use an online trading platform, there are ways to find honest ones. First of all, always operate on a regulated site. It’s not hard to find out if a site is regulated or not, since they usually proudly boast their license if they have one. Another good way to tell if the website you’re looking at can be trusted is to read reviews on sites like Facebook, Trustpilot, SiteJabber and the likes. Keep in mind, though, that some of the reviews posted on the site – both positive and negative ones – are phony.
It may not be too late to claim your money back
Even if you’ve already fallen victim, fear not, because all is not lost. The Global Payback specializes in tracking down these crooks and making them pay – literally. Sometimes this process demands taking legal action as well, so it’s important to keep all documentation of interactions with these crooks, because you don’t know which email or receipt will be relevant at court.
Before all of this, there are some steps you should take immediately once you realized you’ve been conned, the first one being cancelling any billing order made to the shady website. We’d even recommend going as far as cancelling your credit card if that was your method of payment. Next, go to the police and report the crime. While it may not help you track down the crooks, it will provide you with official documents that may also come in handy when facing a judge.
Last but not least: Speak out. Share your story online. Write reviews about the trading brand. Tell your friends what happened to you, and don’t skip any detail. Try to make sure that as few people as possible have to go through this unpleasant ordeal. Sure, this will not help you get your money back, but you’ll be doing a good deed.