Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE -

friend of mine re­cently shared a post on Face­book about a get-rich-quick crypto-cur­rency scheme. The scheme looked gen­uine and was fronted by a well-known celebrity. How­ever, when I looked into it fur­ther, I found out that it’s a scam. Is there any­thing peo­ple can do to stop these kind of scams? Joe, Ra­heny, Dublin 5 YOU may have heard sto­ries of peo­ple mak­ing a for­tune af­ter in­vest­ing in crypto-cur­rency but, as with any form of in­vest­ing, it’s im­por­tant to un­der­stand the risks first. Scam­mers are ac­tive on so­cial me­dia sites and other plat­forms try­ing to en­tice users to in­vest through the lure of an in­stant wind­fall.

Scam­mers can in­clude im­ages and fake claims from well-known celebri­ties to try to make the of­fer seem cred­i­ble, but these are of­ten done with­out the celebrity’s knowl­edge or per­mis­sion.

Be care­ful of po­ten­tial scams when it comes to crypto-cur­ren­cies. You should be wary of “ini­tial coin of­fer­ings”, which is a way of crowd­fund­ing the launch of new cur­ren­cies or com­pa­nies. They are not reg­u­lated and could turn out to be scams, mean­ing the cur­rency may not launch at all and your in­vest­ment may be wiped out.

Also be very wary of get­ting in­volved in crypto-cur­ren­cies where the main fo­cus is on re­cruit­ing more peo­ple into the scheme, as this could in fact be a pyra­mid scheme and these are il­le­gal.

There are a few things you can do to pro­tect your­self from these types of scams. If the of­fer sounds too good to be true, it usu­ally is. Re­search who is mak­ing the of­fer. Click through to the Face­book page be­hind the of­fer and see if it ap­pears gen­uine by look­ing at things like when it was set up, back­ground in­for­ma­tion and pre­vi­ous posts. Google the com­pany and see if any re­views ap­pear or any news ar­ti­cles talk­ing about scams. See if this com­pany has a le­git­i­mate web­site, of­fice and con­tact num­ber.

If you come across a scam post, let the so­cial me­dia site know so it can in­ves­ti­gate.

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