The word “con-artist” is shorthand for “confidence artist.” The way cons work is to gain the confidence of the mark, or victim, and then the rest is easy. The same holds true in the crypto space, and cons are especially easy to pull off when the victim knows little to nothing about the subject at hand.
Those new to crypto and with money signs in their eyes can easily be taken in by scams, and there are many, thanks to the decentralized nature of bitcoin and the lack of knowledge surrounding it for beginners.
Promises of easy and incredible gains thanks to the guidance of some shadowy “bitcoin expert” or auto trading software abound, and the wise old rule of thumb still applies: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This article describes three of the most infamous crypto scam sites, all of which promise to automatically trade for the user.
Common Bitcoin Cons
What follows are descriptions of some of the most common con operations in bitcoin, and information on how to spot and avoid them.
The Bitcoin Code
The so-called “Bitcoin Code” is a scam operation whose website is continually changing. Like many scams, the website offers a service which is said to predict market trends and automate trading for users guaranteeing ridiculous gains such as “$13,000 in exactly 24 hours.”
While some may marvel at how anybody in their right mind could fall for such an outrageous claim, people knowing nothing about bitcoin often allow their lack of knowledge to woo them into thinking such things just might be possible. They also tend to imagine needing an expert’s guidance to “buy in”, or that crypto is a centralized affair like stock market brokerage. Many are too afraid of missing out.
Confirmation that Bitcoin Code is a scam is easy with a little internet sleuthing. Not only does a reverse image search of Bitcoin Code creator “Steve Mckay’s” picture show it to be a fake, but even the so-called testimonial videos on the site are phoney. The images below show a man featured in the Bitcoin Code’s promo video, who turns out to be an actor from e-gig website Fiverr.
Even top Google search results still give the Bitcoin Code good reviews and maintain it is not a scam. It’s important to remember that being a top search result does not mean a piece of content is reliable.
The multi-website, actor-leveraging scam that is Bitcoin Code is reported to have duped many already. The links lead to various websites all said to be the “Bitcoin Code.” Sometimes just to error messages. Bitcoin Code maintains “you must invest any amount you desire of $250 or more.” Just don’t expect to ever see it again.
“Bitcoin Doubler” is another scam model, featured on multiple websites, such as this one. Like Bitcoin Code, doublers promise insane gains in short periods of time, preying on the naivety and financial desperation of victims
These sites typically ask the user to enter an email and a bitcoin address, followed by a deposit. They are then instructed to wait for their big returns to arrive within mere days or hours. The returns, of course, do not arrive, and the only thing doubled is the mark’s financial woes.
Rounding out the list of scams sites is another “autotrader” scheme called Bitcoin Trader. As is common with crypto cons, urgent messages about a lack of time left to invest or get in, misappropriated images and video of famous millionaire or billionaire investors speaking highly of bitcoin, and location-customized “news” of the latest individual to make a killing are all present.
Common elements of bitcoin scams include urgent “time’s running out” messages, location-specific announcements of fake people nearby making money, and misappropriated celebrity endorsements of bitcoin.
Another dead giveaway that this “Bitcoin Trader” site is a scam is that it shares the exact same promotional text as featured on the Bitcoin Code site. Both sites maintain that “Like any business, you need working capital to get started”, and request the same amount of $250 to begin.
So whether a suspicious site promises exclusive use of “time leap” technology that is “ahead of the markets by 0.01 seconds”, or binary trading advantages that can’t be beat, remember: if it sounds too amazing, it almost always is. Binarysignalsadvise.com recently posted their own warning about Bitcoin Trader, stating:
The claims are so dumb that anyone can identify that they are false.
For those genuinely interested in crypto, it’s important to learn about bitcoin’s underlying mechanics and the basics of how it works — and to vet all potential trading platforms and other crypto websites for authenticity — before making even the slightest move toward investment or trading.
Bitcoin allows users and users alone to hold their own private keys so the funds are never in the hands of some obscure “Steve Mckay.” It’s electronic cash that untrustworthy third parties cannot touch, if used properly. As far as the code underpinning the bitcoin network itself, it’s open source and viewable by all, and doesn’t require any sort of investment to investigate.