ICO Scams

Cryptocurrencies have emerged as a leading trend in the financial world. After a slump in 2017 and 2018, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum have come roaring back. One reason for this is the COVID pandemic, which left many people looking for more financial opportunities. Some people see cryptocurrency investment as a way of making money. Others enjoy the freedom from regulation and the anonymity of the transactions. 

Unfortunately, with the popularity of cryptocurrency, many crypto frauds and crypto-forex scams have emerged to take advantage of the trend. It can be a challenge for the average consumer to determine the difference between a crypto scam and the real thing. That is where guidance and research are necessary to succeed at ICO investing and other cryptocurrency opportunities. 

In this risky environment, you need to stay safe. Trader Defense Advisory experts will help you avoid all types of fraud including crypto scams and ICO fraud. Contact TDA experts who are experienced in investigating scams and helping clients with fund recovery. Contact TDA for a consultation today.

What Is an ICO?

ICOs are also known as initial coin offering. It is an event that marks the introduction of a new type of cryptocurrency. Since the premiere of the first cryptocurrency, bitcoin, in 2008, thousands of other virtual coins have hit the market. These were just virtual coins that succeeded past the ICO stage. It should be noted that there are many more ICOs than actual new types of cryptocurrencies that are introduced to the public. 

An ICO is a chance for investors to get involved in the introduction of a new digital currency. Venture capitalists and novice investors alike can invest money in the ICO and receive returns if the digital coin succeeds. ICOs have been appearing everywhere lately, with offers to invest in new coins even on social media. However, many of these so-called ICOs operate like forex trading scams and are fake.

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The Problem with ICOs

The main problem with ICOs is that most of them are crypto scams. According to Investopedia, 80% of ICOs are fraudulent. It can be difficult to tell whether an ICO was created with an intent to defraud the public from the outset or whether it simply failed. 

This is one reason scam artists are attracted to high-risk ventures, such as forex trading scams, crypto scams, and CFD scams. They can explain to their victims that the money was lost and their clients are likely to accept that as the truth. If the clients ask for further proof, often the perpetrators of the scam disappear or cease to communicate with them. 

Even if an ICO is not a scam, very few of them succeed. The fact that there are thousands of cryptocurrencies in circulation indicates how many ICOs there are, most of which fail. It is possible to make money with ICOS, but keep in mind it is a very risky investment and the chances of success are slim. Of course, you should only invest money in ICOs you can afford to lose, but this applies to any investment.

Examples of ICO Scams

Many ICO scams happen on social media. The basic pattern is that someone will say that there is a new coin that is going to be released and if they want to get in on the deal they need to send money right away. The requests will usually be in a type of cryptocurrency, so the transactions can’t be traced.

Even though digital currency is increasingly being recognized and used on legitimate eCommerce sites and payment platforms, it is still a favorite way cybercriminals can mask transactions and launder money. 

In this type of crypto scam, as with forex scams, the person behind the offer will say that the coin failed and will disappear with the money. In a few scams, the fraudster has the nerve to tell people that there was a technical problem with the transfer and they need to repeat it or risk losing their entire investment. 

The time frame is almost always extremely short. They will claim this needs to be done in an hour or two hours. The reason for the haste is so they can make off with the money before they get banned on the social media platform. 

How to Safely Invest in ICOs

With so many forex scams and crypto scams, it may not seem to be worth it to invest or trade online. However, it is not worthwhile to be defeatist. Many people enjoy safe online trading as a hobby and some can even make money. If you love the idea of investing in ICOs, you should be safe from crypto scams if you follow these tips. 

  • Do not invest in ICOs outside of specific platforms designed for ICOs. 
  • Find out who is behind the deal
  • Look for an ICO Whitepaper
  • Pay through the platform and not directly with cryptocurrency

Most ICO scams take place on social media or outside of ICO platforms. Using only these platforms will help keep you safe. Never agree to make payments outside of these platforms using cryptocurrencies. This will ensure all transactions can be traced to specific parties. Find out who is behind the deal and what their qualifications. If the ICO does not have a site or an official white paper, look for other opportunities.

Red Flags for ICO Scams

The following are red flags for ICOs. These are signs of a crypto scam:

  • Offers an ICO on social media rather than on an ICO platform
  • Extravagant claims
  • Excessive haste–”You only have 2 hours to invest”
  • No white paper or website
  • Not clear who is behind the deal
  • Takes money only in cryptocurrency

If you have fallen victim to an ICO crypto scam, or a crypto forex scam, you can track down the scammers and begin the process of fund recovery with the right resources. TDA will help.

Are You the Target of an ICO Scam? Talk to TDA Experts Today

If you have been the target of an ICO scam, crypto scam or forex trading scam, talk to Trader Defense Advisory. Our team of experts has vast combined experience combating fraud. Consult with us and we will create a claim and help you get started on the path to fund recovery.