What Crypto Scams Should You Watch Out for?

Time to read: 6 minutes

Date: December 13, 2022

Cryptocurrency is a hot topic in the world of finance these days, and few things are a hotter topic than scams. In recent news, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested on charges of securities fraud, wiring fraud, and various other financial crimes. Former users of FTX are calling the collapsed crypto exchange a ponzi scheme. With the popularity of cryptocurrencies constantly rising, more and more people are looking to get in on the action. With things like the FTX collapse and Bankman-Fried’s charges happening, more people than ever need to know how to avoid scams in the world of cryptocurrency.

If you’re thinking about getting involved in cryptocurrency, here are some scams to watch out for.

Ponzi Schemes 

Ponzi schemes are one of the most common scams in the cryptocurrency industry. They involve the promise of high returns with little to no risk, but in reality they can lead to investors losing their entire investment. In reality, these schemes are fraudulent and can lead to investors losing their entire investment. There are a few key points to look out for when identifying a Ponzi scheme, such as the hallmarks of high-pressure sales tactics and requiring investors to recruit additional investors

Another key point to look out for when identifying Ponzi schemes is that the promoters of these schemes usually don't have any real history or background in the cryptocurrency industry. They often use high-pressure sales tactics to get people to invest and will often try to get investors to purchase large amounts of tokens in a very short amount of time.

It's also important to remember that Ponzi schemes will often collapse under their own weight, as the initial promoters of the scheme will take out the majority of the funds before the scam is uncovered. Therefore, it's important to be vigilant when investing in any type of cryptocurrency venture, and conduct research before investing in any scheme that sounds too good to be true.


ICO stands for “Initial Coin Offering”. In crypto, this is the equivalent of an IPO or “Initial Public Offering”. ICOs are used as crowdfunding and sell tokens to investors in exchange for standard currency (dollars for example) or other cryptocurrencies (check out our article on them here). ICOs can be a great way to invest in cryptocurrency projects and to get involved in the industry. Unfortunately, there have been a number of scams tied to ICOs, so it is important to be aware of the risks before investing.

When researching an ICO, it is important to look at the team behind it. Here are some effective questions for the ICO you are looking at:

  • Are they qualified and experienced in the industry? 
  • Do they have a track record of success in cryptocurrency?
  • Do the white papers show that the project is well thought out?
  • Are there any clear goals or milestones that the team is aiming to reach?

Another important factor to look out for is the security of the ICO.

  • Does the project have a secure and reliable infrastructure in place? 
  • Are there any measures taken to protect the investor’s funds? 
  • Is the ICO compliant with all applicable laws and regulations?

Finally, it is important to use common sense when considering an ICO. If the team is not willing to answer your questions or provide more information about the project, it is best to stay away. If the investment opportunity sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


Mining is an essential component of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, as it is the process that allows for transactions to be securely confirmed and added to the public ledger, and for new cryptocurrency to be released. As such, it is an attractive target for scammers trying to take advantage of users. It’s important to note that the mining of cryptocurrencies is not illegal in most instances, but the types of mining can be used in scams.  

One of the most common mining scams is cloud mining. This type of scam involves users paying a third party to mine cryptocurrency on their behalf, with the promise of a return on investment. The scammer will often promise a much higher return than is realistically possible, and will usually require a large upfront fee in order to begin mining. In reality, the user may not receive any cryptocurrency at all, or they may get back less than they invested. While some cloud mining can be legitimate, this type of mining is mostly associated with scams.  

Another mining scam involves mining rigs. In this scam, users are sold mining hardware that is not powerful enough to mine cryptocurrency, or the hardware may not even exist. Scammers will usually guarantee a certain rate of return, or promise to give the user free cryptocurrency, in exchange for an upfront fee. 

It is also possible for users to encounter pool mining scams. This is when a group of miners join forces to mine cryptocurrency, and the rewards are then shared amongst the group according to the amount of computing power each miner contributes. In a pool mining scam, the scammer may keep a large portion of the rewards or may not distribute the rewards at all. 

Finally, some scammers will offer to double or triple the amount of cryptocurrency that a user has. This scam is similar to a pyramid scheme, as it requires users to invest large amounts of cryptocurrency in order to get a larger return. In reality, the user will usually end up losing their entire investment.


Trading cryptocurrencies can be a great way to make money, but it also carries a great risk of being scammed. There are several types of crypto scams to watch out for when trading. 

  1. Pump-and-dump schemes. In a pump-and-dump scheme, a group of traders will agree to buy a certain cryptocurrency at the same time, driving up its price. This allows them to sell off the currency at a much higher price than they originally paid. Unfortunately, this leaves other traders with huge losses as the price of the currency quickly drops after the initial buyers have sold off their holdings.

  1. Exit scam. This type of scam occurs when a cryptocurrency exchange or trading platform suddenly closes down and all of its customers’ funds are lost. Usually, these scams are perpetrated by operators who are looking to make a quick profit and then disappear with the funds. It’s important to only trade with reputable exchanges and platforms that have been around for a while, as this is the best way to ensure that your funds are safe.

  1. Phishing scams. In a phishing scam, a malicious actor will use a fake website or email account to try and steal your personal information or your cryptocurrency holdings. Be sure to only trust links from trustworthy sources and never enter your personal information into a website you don’t know or trust.

  1. Ponzi Schemes: A Ponzi scheme is an investment scam where investors are promised large returns with no risk. However, the only ones making money in a Ponzi scheme are the scam artists running the scheme, who use the money from new investors to pay out the returns to their earlier investors.

  1. Fake Investment Platforms: Fake investment platforms are websites that appear to be legitimate investment opportunities, but are in fact fraudulent. They may offer high returns for low investments, but the money is never actually invested and the investor is never able to withdraw their funds.

By being aware of these common crypto scams, you can protect yourself and your funds when trading cryptocurrencies. It’s important to take the time to research any exchanges or trading platforms that you may use and verify their legitimacy before making any trades.

It is important to be aware of these common cryptocurrency scams and to do your research before investing in any cryptocurrency opportunity. Be sure to check out reviews and user feedback before investing, and never provide any personal information.


While cryptocurrency is still a very popular topic for investors, the industry is still plagued by scams. Knowing how to spot scams will help you avoid crypto scams and will help you make sound choices on which investments are legitimate.    

Eliminate the noise and get precise web3 answers with Lobby! Ask a question!

Ready to solve all of your form and survey needs? Canvas is the solution! Get started here!