If you follow either crypto or use Twitter at all, you’ve probably noticed some strange occurrences. Presidential candidate and former vice president, Joe Biden, tech billionaire Elon Musk, and even rapper and musician Kanye West have all asked for donations of Bitcoin. These solicitations are, however, the result of hacked accounts, with an estimated $100,000 USD lost to this scam. Despite the massive media coverage, these sorts of scams aren’t new. As Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies, increase in usage and popularity, these sorts of scams will only become more and more common. In this article, we’ll be giving you a few tips to protect yourself from a Bitcoin address scam.
The crux of most Bitcoin address scams involve having people send Bitcoin to an address they provide, often offering some kind of incentive. More recently, these scammers offered a 2:1 reward for sending money to a particular Bitcoin address. To avoid getting duped, always check to see if the address mentioned has ever been reported for any sorts of fraud or abuse. One popular site for checking for this information, BitcoinAbuse.com, is a public database that records Bitcoin addresses that have been used by fraudsters and scammers. Just plug in the Bitcoin address of interest, and you’ll be able to discover if it’s been reported before. If you know a Bitcoin address is used for criminal activities, you can submit it to BitcoinAbuse.
If someone has reported the site you’ve searched for in the past, you’ll see a few things. The page that’ll come up for the address will tell you how many times others have reported this Bitcoin address in the past. As well as further information, such as the the date of the last report, number of transactions, and the total amount of Bitcoin received by this Bitcoin address. For example, regarding the Twitter hacking incident, BitcoinAbuse shows that the address used in that scam received nearly 13 BTC, and was reported over 77 times.
Much like BitcoinAbuse, Scam-Alert.io is another such site that will allow you to input a Bitcoin address, and receive an evaluation to its validity. If a Bitcoin address returns a history of fraudulent activity, a pop-up message will appear, warning the user, encouraging the user to not send any money to the address. Scam Alert also provides useful information about the various scams and criminal activity that often take advantage of Bitcoin, such as Ponzi schemes and fake Bitcoin giveaways. Particularly popular these days are the use of fake identities, such as one presuming to be Elon Musk, which has raked in millions.
Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies, can be a very secure and convenient way to send and receive money. However, as with everything else related to money, a bit of prudence goes a long way in keeping your assets safe.