Then, copy that formula down for the rest of your stocks. But, as I said, dividends can make a huge contribution to the returns received for a particular stock. Also, you can insert charts and diagrams to understand the distribution of your investment portfolio, and what makes up your overall returns. If you have data on one sheet in Excel that you would like to copy to a different sheet, you can select, copy, and paste the data into a new location. A good place to start would be the Nasdaq Dividend History page. You should keep in mind that certain categories of bonds offer high returns similar to stocks, but these bonds, known as high-yield or junk bonds, also carry higher risk.
He just needed some money. Crypto presents a number of characteristics that appeal to scammers. One of its key traits is, in theory, the lack of a middleman. The transaction is documented using blockchain technology, which can be thought of as a digital ledger recording transactions. It is then verified by a network of computers rather than a centralized entity like a bank. There are many kinds of blockchains and variations on this model, but a core idea is that transactions are irreversible.
Once a transaction is complete on the blockchain, there is no going back. At the same time, it can be difficult for newcomers to spot scams early on. Among the red flags common in U. DeFiYield also houses the REKT Database , which tracks scams, hacks and exploits involving cryptocurrency projects that allow cryptocurrency owners to lend or transact in cryptocurrency using code instead of banks.
But that also serves to make it even riper for scams. While many see crypto as speculative at best and dangerous at worst, others see an opportunity. Besides hoping to attract donations from the crypto sphere, lawmakers might also wish to appease the industry because they view it as a job-growth opportunity and tax-revenue generator, he said. Some, like Rep. Ritchie Torres D-N. Others, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren D-Mass. Brad Sherman D-Calif.
In a statement to Grid, the FTC declined to say whether it planned to engage in more enforcement actions against cryptocurrency criminals, but a spokesperson for the agency pointed to its previous efforts to recover lost funds for cryptocurrency scam victims.
But even as lawmakers and federal agencies look to get tough on crypto scammers, the industry is seeing an uptick in hacks and thefts as well as socially engineered phishing attacks that spread on Twitter, Discord, Facebook and other social media platforms, said Howard Greenberg, president of the American Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Association. How can victims seek justice? Ways to hold scammers accountable are often time-consuming and costly, with no guarantee of success.
And while legislation and regulation can limit the space in which scammers are able to thrive, it remains to be seen how much the fraudulence can be curtailed. Following his conversation with Grid, he received word from the DOJ explaining his rights regarding the BitConnect case and noting the fact that many criminal cases are resolved via plea agreement between the U.
In doing so, they should compile all the evidence in chronological order to explain what happened. Even with evidence of cryptocurrency fraud, bringing charges against alleged cryptocurrency scammers can be difficult due to the anonymity of the scammers themselves, the complexity of the scam, and the limits of applicable regulations and case law in the U. Cryptocurrency scammers may operate anonymously online, making them harder to find, but government agencies generally could find out who they are — because they want to be found, Stark said.
But it may be getting harder for scammers to hide their identities. Citing the case against Larry Harmon, who pleaded guilty in to operating a bitcoin money laundering service called Helix from to , government agencies are starting to understand how cryptocurrency transactions are obfuscated and laundered, Sarah Paul, U.
This mythical "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity can lead people to transfer funds quickly in hopes of an instant return. Many crypto owners are being contacted by impersonators claiming to be from cryptocurrency exchange support and security. Phishing Scams Within the context of the cryptocurrency industry, phishing scams target information pertaining to online wallets. Specifically, scammers are interested in crypto wallet private keys, which are the keys required to access cryptocurrency.
Their method is like many standard scams—they send an email with links that lead holders to a specially created website and ask them to enter private keys. When the hackers have this information, they can steal the cryptocurrency. Phishing scams are among the most common attacks on consumers.
According to the FBI, more than , people fell victim to phishing scams in Blackmail and Extortion Scams Another popular social engineering method scammers use is to send blackmail emails. In such emails, scam artists claim to have a record of adult websites or other illicit web pages visited by the user and threaten to expose them unless they share private keys or send cryptocurrency to the scammer. These cases represent a criminal extortion attempt and should be reported to an enforcement agency such as the FBI.
Investment or Business Opportunity Scams The old adage "if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is" still rings true, and is one to keep in mind for anyone venturing into investing in general. It is especially true for cryptocurrencies. Countless profit-seeking speculators turn to misleading websites offering so-called guaranteed returns or other setups for which investors must invest large sums of money for even larger guaranteed returns.
Unfortunately, these bogus guarantees often lead to financial disaster when individuals try to get their money out and find that they can't. What's important to know is that although crypto-based investments or business opportunities may sound lucrative, it doesn't always reflect reality. For example, some scammers create fake websites for ICOs and instruct users to deposit cryptocurrency into a compromised wallet. In other instances, the ICO itself may be at fault.
Founders could distribute unregulated tokens or mislead investors about their products through false advertising. Rug Pulls A rug pull occurs when project members raise capital or crypto to fund a project and then suddenly remove all of the liquidity and disappear. The project is abandoned, and investors lose everything they have contributed.
Cloud Mining Scams Platforms will market to retail buyers and investors to get them to put upfront capital down to secure an ongoing stream of mining power and reward. These platforms do not actually own the hash rate they say they do and will not deliver the rewards after your down payment. While cloud mining is not necessarily a scam, due diligence must be conducted on the platform before investment.
How to Spot Cryptocurrency Scams Cryptocurrency scams are easy to spot when you know what you're looking for. Legitimate cryptocurrencies have readily available disclosure, with detailed information about the blockchain and associated tokens. Read the White Paper Cryptocurrencies go through a development process. Before this process, there is generally a document published for the public to read called a white paper that describes the protocols, blockchain, outlines the formulas, and explains how the entire network will function.
Fake cryptocurrencies do not do this—the people behind them publish "white papers" that are poorly written, have figures that don't add up, tell you how they envision the money being used or don't generally seem like a proper white paper. For comparison, you can read through the white papers of well-known cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Bitcoin to see how they are written and explained.
Identify Team Members White papers should always identify the members and developers behind the cryptocurrency. There are cases where an open-source crypto project might not have named developers—but this is typical for open-source. Most coding, comments, and discussions can be viewed on Github or GitLab.
Some projects use forums and applications like Discord for discussion. If you can't find any of these and the white paper is full of errors, it is likely a scam. Look For "Free" Items Many cryptocurrency scams offer free coins or promise to "drop" coins into your wallet.
Remind yourself that nothing is ever free, especially money and cryptocurrencies. Examine the Marketing Cryptocurrencies are generally not a money-making endeavor. They are projects with a stated purpose and have coins or tokens designed to be used to help the blockchain function. Valid crypto projects won't be posting on social media, pumping themselves up as the next best crypto you shouldn't miss out on.
Most valid cryptocurrency developers do not market the coin; they post documentation that outlines the cryptocurrency's purpose. If it doesn't have a purpose, it is likely but not always a scam. It might be a cryptocurrency just to be a cryptocurrency, similar to Dogecoin , which has no official purpose. There are legitimate businesses using blockchain technology to provide services.
They might have tokens used within their blockchains to pay transaction fees, but the advertising and marketing should appear much more official. They'll have money to spend on celebrity endorsements and appearances and have all the information readily available on their websites. These businesses will not ask everyone to buy their crypto; they will advertise their blockchain-based services. How to Avoid Cryptocurrency Scams There are several actions you can take to avoid being scammed.
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Think of schemes that use threatening phone calls, a desperate plea for money or a demand to transfer sums of cash or else. When it comes to Bitcoin fraud, the strengths of cryptocurrency are turned against the victims. Here are the Bitcoin scams that you should be on the lookout to avoid.
The victim sent the Bitcoin, but never got the cash. When he reached out to his real associate by other means, the associate had no clue what was going on. And then there are twists on old-fashioned Social Security scams. For instance, a Naples, Fla.
She was instructed to download an app, then transfer all of her money from her bank account into Bitcoin. Thankfully, a fraud alert popped up on her phone before the deed was done. Fake Bitcoin Investing Scams Bitcoin is an abstraction of an abstraction.
Enthusiasts find these aspects of cryptocurrency deeply appealing. Many Bitcoin investors believe the less government involvement in money, the better. Others prefer to engage in financial transactions that are hard to trace by the authorities.
Unfortunately, these are also big advantages for scammers who set up fake websites purporting to offer new investors the chance to make a quick buck. This is what happened to one victim of a scheme from Australia. Moreover, the Instagram account was full of testimonial videos and other folks endorsing the service, and had thousands of followers.
It looked legitimate. He then prostelyzed his newfound opportunity to friends and family. Then the account disappeared, and the thief with it. Keep in mind that this scam — as well as the previous — could come from any industry. You could get fraudulent emails and phone calls from scammers claiming to be from Amazon, Google, Netflix or your bank looking for login information, credit card numbers or other sensitive account information.
What information are phone impersonators after? You should only enter it in secured parts of legitimate websites. Private keys: Your Bitcoin or crypto secret key is for you and you alone. Never give it to anyone. You should never give a cryptocurrency customer service rep or anyone remote access to your computer. Never give these up. This could be at the airport, train station, or a restaurant or coffee shop. A hacker intercepts the data between your device and the internet router.
This allows cyber thieves to read any data you send — including passwords, login information, and private keys. How to protect yourself against a man-in-the-middle attack: The best way to stop a MITM attack is to block the middle man. This is easy with a good, reliable VPN. A VPN encrypts all data going to and from your device. When it comes to security, we recommend NordVPN. They rank at the top of our review list when it comes to security and protection.
Get NordVPN 4. Social media cryptocurrency giveaway scams There are countless frauds running fake Bitcoin giveaways on Facebook , Instagram , and other social media outlets. They show off bogus screenshots with fake messages from companies or celebrities like Elon Musk promoting the giveaway. Bot accounts swarm the fraudulent posts, seemingly confirming its legitimacy. The best-case scenario is that you send them Bitcoin and get nothing in return.
The worst thing that can happen is you wind up clicking a malicious link , scanning a fraudulent QR code , or entering your account information on the fraudulent site, which can result in a great loss of money. Be wary of social media: Manipulated screenshots and forged messages are quite common. Do research: There are real opportunities to earn cryptocurrency, like referral programs for crypto startups.
Use Google to research the company or entity doing the giveaway. Is it legitimate? Report: Always report scams and frauds when you see them. What once were low-tech, simple coercion emails have become more sophisticated. Fraudsters and hackers can purchase passwords and corresponding emails on the dark web from old data breaches.
So you might see one of your old passwords in the subject of an email. They might also claim to have accessed your computer and its camera, and obtained sexually explicit video or images of you. This is called a sextortion scam. These spam emails are just looking to shake victims up. The end game here is for the perpetrator to get you to send Bitcoin to their blockchain address. Report international scams at eConsumer. Check out our full article on antivirus software and have a look our top five picks for more information and tips.
Almost half of those victims were between the age of 20 and 39, the FTC said. There are different kinds of investment scams. Pyramid schemes These are recruiting schemes. The idea is that you pay an upfront Bitcoin or crypto payment for the right to recruit. You offer your recruits a similar deal. The more people you recruit, the more money you make. If you come across a scheme in its early stages that actually pays out, sure, you could make money.
But pyramid schemes are illegal for a reason: at some point, the number of recruiters outweighs the potential recruits. Scammers often take advantage of this pay-to-play model without ever actually paying up. They can also make you millions if you let them manage your cryptocurrency. Job offers and employment scams Scammers might also impersonate recruiters and human resources, targeting job hunters. Most commonly, fraudsters ask for a cryptocurrency payment to start job training. Or they might be looking for cryptocurrency investors or fund managers.
Celebrity endorsement investment scams The UK removed nearly , links to fake celebrity endorsement scams this year. These are similar to the giveaway scams in that they use celebrities to rope in victims. Scammers use real photos with false testimonials from celebrities about huge gains from cryptocurrency investments.
Check out this article for a comprehensive list of NFT scams and how to protect your digital assets. First of all, you should never store your cryptocurrency on an exchange like Coinbase, Binance, or Gemini. Exchanges are for trading, no storing. And what other ways to protect your money are there? Protect your Bitcoin with a digital wallet These wallets interact with the blockchain network that cryptocurrencies run on.
Each has a private key and a public address. The private key allows you to access the wallet to make purchases, send crypto to other parties, or move it to exchanges. The public blockchain address allows you to receive transactions. Cold Wallets Cold wallets are stored offline and are not connected to the internet. These wallets are actual hardware they look like USBs , are considered the most secure, and carry the least risk.
These could best be compared to safes, vaults, or safety deposit boxes. Take a look at the Ledger Nano S Plus to get an idea of a cold wallet. If you are mining Ethereum or Bitcoin, using a cold wallet is a wise idea.
Hot Wallets Hot wallets are connected to the internet and are more suited for purchases, transactions, and active traders. Usually, investors and traders will keep large sums on cold wallets, and smaller amounts on hot wallets. Here are some hot wallet options: Desktop wallets: This is software downloaded, encrypted, and stored on your laptop or desktop device. If your device is connected to the internet, make sure to get good antivirus software.
Mobile wallets: Mobile wallets are similar to desktop wallets, but for smartphones and mobile devices. They provide more convenience and can offer QR transactions for those that use and trade digital currency regularly. Web-based wallets: These are wallets that you access through the internet. If the storage site suffers a data breach, your information will also be at risk.
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